Real Madrid officially declared that German star Toni Kroos would be joining the club late last week. The former Bayern Munich star will give a diverse array of tactical choices for the club to coach Carlo Ancelotti and adds a tremendous amount of depth in the midfield for Madrid.
Under Jose Mourinho, Los Blancos developed into the finest counter-attacking team in the world. The side continued to showcase that amount of ability and speed on the counter through the year (just inquire Bayern Munich the 4-0 loss at home felt) while adding a possession style that was solid to the play. Madrid started looking with a number of tricks that propelled them to La Decima’s aid, but also the Copa del Rey.
Kroos helps Ancelotti in his pursuit to give Madrid’s ball retention. While he was always referred to as a firm attacker with Bayern Munich prior to the entrance last season, his game took on a brand new measurement under the Catalan trainer. Guardiola, who was the guy responsible sought to bring the German champs the same style. Guardiola desired a player which could fill Xavi’s part as the midfield general, so as to get the team to work like Barcelona. Guardiola wanted a man with terrific passing skills who can find the lanes to ease the attackers.
That guy became Kroos. The German found his way deeper but was able to utilize his intelligence to establish the tremendous passing game in Munich. According to WhoScored, he had a 91.9 passing success rate in 29 Bundesliga matches and a whopping 94.2 passing success rate in 12 Champions League ties. Xabi Alonso was Madrid’s most frequent passer in 2013-14 and he averaged about 65.6 passes per match throughout the year.
Undoubtedly Kroos will empower the side to play a possession game that is more stringent whenever it’s important. But as revealed at the World Cup by the Germans, he is also skillful at playing the pitch up with directness and speed.
But another important facet of Kroos’ game is his ability to play deep in the midfield. His possession play enables him to set the play up and that is the point where Ancelotti truly gets his depth. Last season , the Italian played a 4-3%33-3 system with Alonso, Luka Modric and Angel Di Maria as his middle trio. James Rodriguez’s arrival potentially introduces an issue here for Ancelotti as the Colombian is an attacking player through and through.
Asier Illarramendi was expected to be the heir, but he still has a long way to develop before he can be handed the keys to the team’s midfield. Kroos is not just an elite player, but can grow into someone even more versatile.
The best part of the purchase is that Kroos is not at Bayern Munich, among Madrid’s perennial European competitions. The loss is as insignificant for the German team as they have players to fill in the function. Mario Goetze is an attacking midfielder that will be getting more time while Thiago Alcantara can play exactly the same positions and will likely be his primary replacement. Alcantara was anticipated to play with the Xavi role at Barcelona prior to be being purchased by Munich with the German contingent that Kroos is gone and he’ll probably take on that same job. In general, the deal is a win-win for both sides.