Real Madrid will miss him at the beginning of this season—his groin injury will keep him out early on—but Alonso will surely be a starter in the double pivot for Madrid.
His calm technique in possession is vital to the squad's success, and his keen eye for the long pass can unlock the defense for a counterattack.
Alonso is well into his prime and will help lead Madrid to victory when he returns from his setback.
While Illarramendi is the long-term replacement for Xabi Alonso, I think the two can work together when both are fit.
Operating as a double pivot, Alonso and Illarramendi can dictate play from deep-lying positions, and take turns pushing forward into the attack.
The 23-year-old was fantastic for Real Sociedad last season. His work-rate and composure were driving forces behind Sociedad's push for Champions League football.
His statistics from last season are quite impressive. Illarramendi averaged nearly four tackles and over two interceptions per game while recording a passing rating of 80 percent and completing at least one key pass per match, according to WhoScored.com.
He will provide cover in front of the back four and combine with Alonso to form a formidable midfield pairing.
The German should continue to be the creative influence through the center of the pitch. He transitions from defense to attack and is always looking for the killer pass around the box.
Ozil's chemistry with Karim Benzema and Ronaldo contributes heavily to goals, and at just 24 years of age he is still heading into his prime. His passing rate of over 84 percent reflects how smart the German is on the ball, via WhoScored.com.
With nine goals and 13 assists in La Liga, Ozil is a key man in the middle for Madrid.