Toni Kroos’ transfer to Real Madrid makes perfect sense; he is an extremely adaptable and balanced player, two attributes (along with many others) that make him a complete midfielder. What I mean by “complete” is that he can fit into any tactical scheme. At Bayern over the past couple seasons he got used to a system that emphasized speedy attacks emanating from the wings. He manhandled the midfield and distribute the ball to the likes of Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, (two worldclass wingers) that benefited greatly from his vision, tenacity and calm. Also at this past summer’s World Cup he fit into Germany’s tactical alignment, playing a style of football that slowly grew attacks through fluid short passing. In other words, he can do it all…. Except one thing, but I’ll get to that later…
Aside from being a complete midfielder, he’s also a winner. Kroos already has German league titles, a Champions League victory and a World Cup under his belt. Not only is he used to big competition, but he’s used to winning them. Moreover, he’s pretty smart too: he left Bayern at a perfect time: their team, although outstanding, is getting older… Who knows how long Ribery (31), Robben (30) and Schweinsteiger (about to turn 30) will last?
On the other hand – Real’s Benzema is 26, Di Maria is 26, and Bale only just turned 25 (all of them about to hit the peak of their careers). And then, there’s also Ronaldo, a player who is at the peak of his career. Furthermore, when you look at their defense, Ramos is 28, Marcelo 26, Carvajal 22, and Varane only 21… Real Madrid have a young team that’s already gelled together quite a bit, and when you add the adaptable Kroos into the mix, their team only gets better.
The most interesting aspect of his transfer will be finding out how Carlo Ancelotti fits him into his current lineup. In my opinion, he’ll replace Xabi Alonso, and learn to play a slightly deeper role than he’s used to. If not, then I would imagine he’d split time with Modric, or, if Real Madrid do end up selling Di Maria, he would take his attacking midfield role.
Now, here’s the issue with this, Kroos can do it all except one thing: have the ability and flair to dribble the ball with speed past defenders whereas Di Maria is masterful at this. Di Maria has been incredible in the attacking mid position right behind the front three BBC… So, if Acelotti truly wants to use the same system that he did last year that brought him so much success, then it would be to his benefit to use Kroos in either Modric’s box-to-box role, or Alonso’s role in front of the back four.
In my opinion, Kroos will be a great fit if played in the right position. He’s a great replacement for Alonso, and will be a mainstay in the Real side for years to come.