This term Toni Kroos hasn’t yet hit the heights he did under Carlo Ancelotti last season. However, the German midfielder is starting to get into his stride and his stats remain impressive to say the least. He continues to ferry the ball across the pitch with robot-like efficiency, leading the La Liga charts for completed passes (1,020) despite Rafa Benítez restricting him to benchwarming duty on more than one occasion.
Kroos embodies German reliability. His game is all about making others tick. His current role isn’t all that different from his brief under Ancelotti, although he is being asked to be a tad more static in front of the defence, as the go-to man to funnel possession out from the back. The knock-on effect is that he has less scope to maraud forward, in spite of being one of the best shooters from long range in the Real Madrid squad and having made the biggest mark in his career in a more advanced position.
Sought after, but willing to sit tight
Kroos has got used to what is being demanded of him and although several top European clubs have cast admiring glances in his direction, he fully intends to stay at the Bernabéu so long as he is considered a key figure in the middle of the park.
This equanimity, typical of Kroos, comes despite the doubts raised by some of Benítez’s recent decisions. The fact that the former Bayern Munich schemer was dropped and didn’t play a single minute in Cádiz, at home to Malmö and, lastly and most importantly, at El Madrigal, had put his many potential suitors on red alert. Yet all the noises coming out are that the World Cup winner will not rock the boat and will keep doing his tidy job while waiting for things to improve both personally and collectively. As the saying goes in tough times, this too will pass, and when Kroos has the ball at his feet, you can bet the outcome will be a positive one.