Holland coach Bert van Marwijk was eager to freshen up the Dutch national team during the Euro 2012 qualifiers and Strootman emerged as one of the rising stars of his set-up, playing five times and scoring an important goal in the 2-0 away win against Finland in September 2009.
After making his name with Sparta Rotterdam, he had a spell with Utrect before being snapped up by PSV last summer and he has proved to be a useful goal maker and creator in his first season on the big stage in Eindhoven. Still only 22, he may be forced to live in the shadow of the more celebrated Dutch midfielders for now, but his time will come.
“It helps me that the national coach has been so positive about my development and I need to repay him for the faith he has shown in me,” says Strootman, who has become something of a favourite of Van Marwijk in recent months. “People respect opinions of someone in such a position and it gives so much confidence.”