Toni Kroos Can Take Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to New Levels

Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2014

Toni Kroos seems on the way to Madrid.
Toni Kroos seems on the way to Madrid.Frank Augstein/Associated Press

On one hand, it seems like a bad move for Real Madrid to sell Angel di Maria and replace him with Toni Kroos. On the other, it could be a stroke of genius.

The most important players at Real Madrid are Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale—at least in terms of status.

For sheer ability, Ronaldo is top, while Bale has the potential to grow to a similar level.

Kroos can help the pair raise their game further still.

Lothar Matthaus certainly thinks so. He told Marca:

Congratulations to Real Madrid, they've got themselves a genius there. All the same, I'd have preferred him to stay at Munich. Toni is very intelligent, he passes the ball brilliantly and he can shoot hard and well, too. Ronaldo and Bale can really expand alongside him. Robben and Ribery have, in the past few years.

The Independent report that Real Madrid have secured a £20 million deal for the 24-year-old Germany and Bayern Munich star.

Matthaus envisages Kroos playing in an attacking trio behind Karim Benzema.

He continued:

He isn't a central midfielder, he's more of a false nine who should go through the middle, behind the forwards. I can imagine Cristiano Ronaldo, Kroos and Bale together in that line of three behind Benzema. He is like Modric in that way, though Modric can play as a central midfielder and Kroos is not one of those.

That would bring about a change of formation for Real Madrid, who currently play something closer to a 4-3-3 than a 4-2-3-1.

While that would bring Bale and Ronaldo deeper, it might make them more central to the game.

Too many matches pass where they don't contribute much beyond a killer blow.

This will give them greater importance in general build-up play, and it should still leave them well placed to finish moves too.

Kroos can receive the ball as a central playmaker and feed it through to either Bale or Ronaldo as they burst into the box.

Bale and Ronaldo could benefit from Kroos' presence.
Bale and Ronaldo could benefit from Kroos' presence.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Another important connection in the team would be the two deeper midfielders to Kroos.

One may be Sami Khedira, Kroos’ compatriot. The pair have formed part of an impressive midfield that has helped take their nation to the World Cup semi-finals.

Luka Modric is the other, and a player of his ilk will surely enjoy playing with Kroos.

As Matthaus says, they are fairly similar in some respects, with Modric able to play deeper. It is not hard to envisage them being on the same wavelength after only a few games together in Los Blancos' shirt.

Khedira (pictured) and Modric will like playing with Kroos.
Khedira (pictured) and Modric will like playing with Kroos.Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

The other player who might benefit is Benzema. Kroos is a more standard attacking midfielder, who will feed balls through to him all day long.

Di Maria is a brilliant player—and not one that Real Madrid should release lightly—but he sometimes doesn’t seem to click with Benzema because he drifts into different positions.

It can leave the Frenchman a little isolated at times, though Bale and Ronaldo are more than happy to come inside and pick up one of his lay-offs.

Kroos should be able to fit in perfectly in the side, although Isco will wonder why he hasn’t been given more of a chance in that position.