The arrival of Toni Kroos at Real Madrid certainly constitutes one of the most impressive signings of La Liga so far this season, even surpassing the somewhat “surprising” move from Luis Suárez to Barcelona. The former Bayern Munich centre midfielder cost Los Blancos something around €30 million (at least according to the media) and he signed a six year deal that will apparently keep him at the club until the age of 30.
The East Germany born talented midfielder arrives at a team with a fair share of highly skilled footballers on their midfield line and it will certainly be interesting to see how he will be able to make a stand “against” players such as Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Angel Di Maria, Illarramendi, and even Khedira, who allegedly has already packed his bags to play for Arsenal or Chelsea next season. Kroos is a natural born deep-lying playmaker, an old school number 8, who carries his team’s midfield line on his back and builds his side’s game from behind. Nevertheless, his versatility allows him to play in every position of the midfield, even as wide midfielder both on left and right, due to his fantastic vision and crossing skills. Kroos is one of those footballers that keeps his head up when carrying the ball around and he is always looking for the best available option to deliver the ball, whether through a short pass or through a killer assist that is most likely to end in a goal for his team.
There are certainly no doubts regarding Toni Kroos’ immense talent, although, there are still some doubts on who will Carlo Ancelotti relegate to bench in order to bring the German playmaker into the starting lineup. In a recent survey from a Spanish newspaper, Real Madrid fans dropped Xabi Alonso from the midfield trio and placed Kroos on his place, together with Modric and Di Maria. Notwithstanding, for Carlo Ancelotti, choosing between such talented footballers will certainly not be easy. The Italian manager implemented a 4-3-3 (or a 4-2-3-1 style if you prefer) at Real Madrid after his arrival at the team last season, and regardless the disposition of the midfield triangle, he only uses three midfielders simultaneously of the times. The player who, in the recent past, had a similar role to the one Kroos played at the German team, for example, was the Croatian star Luka Modric, who acted a deep-lying playmaker last term, leaving the defensive tasks to Xabi Alonso. The Basque-born player has been a part of Real Madrid’s “furniture” for quite a while now and it is not likely that Ancelotti will take him off the team so easily. In fact, Ancelotti will most likely not even sacrifice one his regular midfielders, but rather slash one of the wingers, Gareth Bale in all likelihood, replacing such winger by Di Maria and placing Kroos in the middle, alongside with Xabi Alonso and Modric.
There are, in fact, plenty of possible scenarios for Real Madrid’s new number 8, Toni Kroos, the German “heir” of Paul Breitner and Bernd Schuster at Los Blancos, but one thing is for certain: he will surely be a major asset and a breath of fresh hair into the current European champions’ midfield line.