Toni Kroos has been known throughout Europe for a couple of years now, but on Wednesday, he announced himself on the world stage. He was involved in every Bayern Munich attack, sitting on the edge of the box, controlling the game.
Kroos showed us all why Manchester United have been courting him recently. However, could more performances like that provoke more interest from other big clubs, or will Pep Guardiola want the German to stay?
Toni Kroos has had a successful yet predictable career since he joined the Bayern Munich first team in 2007. After a bright start, he was in and out of the first 11 until being loaned to Bayern Leverkusen for 18 months. During the 09/10 season with Leverkusen he scored an astounding nine goals as well as setting up 12 from 33 games. At the end of the season, he returned to Munich where he earned himself a first team position for years to come. However, this season, he has been plagued with injury and has fallen out of favour with the new boss.
This has led to speculation about transfers away from Munch, with clubs such as Manchester United and Juventus seen as possible destinations for the talented German. But why would Bayern Munich want to let him go. A product of their youth system, he has made visible progress recently, and has been described as the “complete midfielder”. His main assets include an ability to read the game, pinpoint passing, a blistering shot and composure.
Pace is one area in which he is lacking, which means he cannot always track back to help his side defend, which isn’t a problem at Bayern, due to the strength they have at the back. However, if he was to leave the Allianz Arena and join Manchester United, it would be an area David Moyes would have to help him with.
The main reason I believe Kroos would be a good fit at Old Trafford(and this is not being biased) is because he is a playmaker. He will not score 10 goals a season, or even five, but with clever play and creative passing, he will be at the heart of most goals. Ever since Scholes retired…again, Manchester United shave missed that creative flair, and someone who can start something out of nothing. Juan Mata looked like the right man, but can’t seem to force his way into the centre often enough to slip balls through to Rooney and van Persie.
However much I would love Kroos to join United, I can’t understand why Guardiola would be willing to let him leave. Amongst a team who are mainly imports, Kroos is one of few who was brought through the academy at Bayern, and understands the ethos surrounding the club. It is a strategy Barcelona live by, bringing players from the academy into the first team, and in Toni Kroos they have that player.
As well as this, it was clear to see on Wednesday night, the presence and talent he possesses. Why would Guardiola want to let Kroos leave? At only 24, Kroos could have the CAM position at Bayern tied down for the next 10 years if he so wished. Perhaps he lacks the agility and pace the manager looks for. In this case, the slower, more physical Barclays Premier League would suit his nicely.
Whatever Kroos chooses to do, expect to hear a lot more about him in the next few years, as he becomes one of the best midfielders in the world.