Toni Kroos exit! Bayern’s loss?

With an hour gone at the Mercedes-Benz Arena and defending champion Bayern Munich trailing, Pep Guardiola decides to shuffle his pack, Toni Kroos is the man to be sacrificed for another attacker. He reacts badly at being substituted, Bayern won the game and Kroos has since been a permanent feature on Die Bayern bench. Perhaps that may not be the sole reason for his present situation, the gifted midfielder is currently locked in a standoff with the club’s hierachy over a new contract.

Taking the clock back to nearly seven years from now to when I saw young Toni Kroos at FIFA U17 World Cup hosted by South Korea in 2007 for the first time, I concluded within me that Germany have unearth a new talent. This tournament is a breeding ground for future stars and Toni stood out.  He led by example.

TK u17

German captain at FIFA U-17 World Cup

Toni Kroos was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player and also won the Bronze Shoe after scoring five goals. I have followed his development and watch him turn into a real top player. He was promoted to the first team by Ottmar Hitzfield in the 2007-08 season shortly after the FIFA Cadet World Cup but was subsequently loaned out to Bayer Leverkusen and retuned after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

His present situation has led to huge speculation of Bayern’s willingness to let him go. It is difficult to comprehend the intention of selling Kroos. The Germany international has been in majestic form since the start of last season and outstanding enough to oust Arjen Robben from the first team prior to his injury against Juventus. He has continued in same form this season. His versatility is inestimable with his ability to switch roles between being the team’s main playmaker to filling even deeper role. Perhaps Thiago Alcantara’s return to fitness and form could be a threat but he is tactically more disciplined than the Spaniard and that should give him an edge.

At 24, he has ability to grow and getting even better. He is already one of the Europe’s leading midfielders and if Bayern decide to sell, it would surely be to one of Europe’s top clubs – Manchester United and Juventus have expressed interest, he could well come back to haunt them in the UEFA Champions League.

Kroos might have developed into an important first-team player but with the array of midfielders (Schweinsteger, Martinez, Alcantara, Muller, Gotze, Shaqiri and even Lahm) at Pep Guardiola’s helm, he may not be irreplaceable. After all, he missed a substantial part of their treble campaign last season and his absence was not totally felt.

In all of this, Bayen need to consider their options well with Bastian Schweinsteiger’s fitness and age becoming a concern and Philipp Lahm entering the twilight of his career.

unhappy kroos

Deflated Kroos

Bayern’s philosophy has long been to build a team based around their academy products and Kroos has been in Bavaria since he was 16. He has been there through the club’s good and bad times and deserves better than to be exiled from the first team. Die Bayern would be wise to secure the future of Germany’s top young midfielders rather than alienate him because signing a replacement would be expensive.

 

Will Kroos departure from Allianz Arena hurt Bayern Munich more? Only time will tell if he moves on.

 

 

 

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