Real’s Kroos no longer a certainty in German team


By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, March 26 (Xinhua) — A growing number of top-class midfielders might force Joachim Loew to rethink his options ahead of the European Championships.

For long, Real midfielder Toni Kroos appeared untouchable as the 31-year-old has been the German coach’s central figure.

Citizen’s star Ilkay Guendogan and the indispensable Bayern midfielders like Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka seem to be making Loew think again as Kroos all of a sudden appears replaceable.

While some see the German coach as having a luxury of wealth, the situation could change the team’s hierarchy.

Kimmich, more and more, is slipping into the role of the strategist conducting the team’s midfield perfectly, combining the sweeper role in front of the defense with providing attacking ideas.

With Germany beating Iceland 3-0 in their 2022 World Cup qualifier, the Bayern midfielder set a new passing record — 173.

Goretzka hasn’t only gained physical power but, like Guendogan, has increased his runs into the opponent’s box, turning into a dangerous goalscorer.

12 goals in 23 games in the Premier League tell the story of Guendogan’s irresistible upward trend as the 30-year-old is on his way to continuing his journey in the national team.

The midfielder has become irreplaceable for Citizen’s coach Pep Guardiola, and it seems gradually seems the same way for Loew.

Missing the team’s last games ahead of the European Championships due to an injury might have worsened Kroos’ chances to fight back.

The Real midfielder is facing intense competition and seems in danger of losing his regular place.

As Loew seems to adopt a similar strategy as Guardiola, mainly counting on possession to control the game, chances for Guendogan have increased to outdo Kroos.

The Real midfielder’s ability to deliver a dynamic note seems limited compared to the contribution Guendogan (16 goals in 34 games this season) can provide aside from Kimmich and Goretzka (13 goals in 30 internationals).

The delicate issue of selecting his starting eleven seems to affect the debate about Thomas Mueller’s return.

While former Bayern president Uli Hoeness demands the striker’s return, Loew might decide to do the job without the Bavarian as he has so many midfield options.

“I’m convinced Mueller will be part of the German squad this summer,” Hoeness said.

Loew announced he would decide Muller’s fate not before his final squad announcement in May.

The German coach revealed what is keeping his mind busy. “We need to keep the speed at the highest level over 90 minutes. That appears inevitable for a major tournament,” he said.

This could lead the German coach to several conclusions. Does he need Mueller, and can Kroos develop enough speed to fast forward in the German game and back up the speedsters Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Kai Havertz, and Timo Werner?

Loew announced to make no more compromises after he announced his departure for this summer ending an era of 15 years in charge. Trying to create a successful farewell, it seems the German coach might not be afraid to step beyond red-lines. Enditem


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