Three potential Toni Kroos replacements for Real Madrid

The Hard Tackle lists three candidates for Real Madrid to consider as they look to replace Toni Kroos in the summer transfer window.

It was an announcement that left everyone shell-shocked. We will no longer have the pleasure of watching Toni Kroos in action for Real Madrid or the German national side after he announced his impending retirement, with UEFA Euro 2024 being his final competition as a professional footballer.

The German playmaker has been one of the best players in the world for over a decade, spending most of his career with Real Madrid. He rose in prominence at Bayern Munich, winning several trophies during his stint with the Bavarian giants.

However, Kroos became an all-conquering force during his spell with Real Madrid, although he has arguably been world-class throughout his storied career. Meanwhile, his trophy cabinet draws admiration and envy in equal measure, as he won ten trophies with Bayern Munich, including three Bundesliga titles and one UEFA Champions League.

Meanwhile, Kroos’s spell with Real Madrid has yielded 21 trophies, although he will have the chance to add a sixth career UEFA Champions League triumph to that collection. The 34-year-old has also won the FIFA World Cup with Germany, going all the way in the 2014 edition.

However, the veteran playmaker’s legendary career will end in a few weeks, with Germany’s UEFA Euro 2024 campaign being his farewell tour. Real Madrid will feel the biggest pinch from his sudden departure, as he will leave a gaping hole in the Spanish club’s midfield department. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle presents three candidates who can replace Kroos in the Real Madrid midfield in the coming decade.

Florian Wirtz

The first option is the most obvious candidate to fill Toni Kroos’s void at Real Madrid. This player has seen his stock skyrocket this season after playing his part in Bayer Leverkusen’s history-making 2023/24 campaign. We are talking about Florian Wirtz.

The German international has been a highly sought-after midfielder for years, capturing the attention of high-profile clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Barcelona, among others. However, he is also a target for Real Madrid, which complicates matters for his other suitors.

Real Madrid will unlikely launch the offensive for Wirtz in the summer transfer window, delaying the move until 2025, with Kylian Mbappe being the marquee arrival this year. However, the 21-year-old, who has amassed 18 goals and 20 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions this term, has the numbers and qualities to succeed Kroos at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Chris Rigg

Our second suggestion might surprise our readers, especially Real Madrid fans, considering he is relatively unknown in the Spanish market. However, the Merengues are renowned for signing such players by being the first on the scene to secure their signatures. We are talking about Chris Rigg.

The 16-year-old is not an unknown quantity in the English market, with high-profile clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United interested in him. However, he can be an under-the-radar signing in Spain for Real Madrid.

Juni Calafat is a fan of the 16-year-old and has recommended the youngster to Real Madrid. Known for his passing ability, vision, dribbling quality, and set-piece threat, Rigg can be a like-for-like replacement for Kroos. However, Los Blancos must beat the Premier League bigwigs to his signature.

In-house option

If the Merengues choose not to delve into the market for a replacement, they have a couple of in-house options to fill the void that Toni Kroos will leave at the Santiago Bernabeu. The primary candidate to rise in prominence is Arda Guler.

The Turkish international has endured a frustrating debut season at Real Madrid, with fitness issues hampering him for much of the campaign. However, he has bounced back with a bang in recent weeks, amassing six goals in only 440 minutes of game time across 12 outings thus far for Los Blancos.

The young Turk has the qualities to fill Kroos’s void at Real Madrid, although he will not be a like-for-like replacement. Nevertheless, his penchant for scoring goals and creative ability makes him a candidate to rise in stature at Real Madrid. The other candidate is Nico Paz.

The 19-year-old has been impressive in his cameos for Real Madrid thus far, with Carlo Ancelotti being an admirer of his talent. So, Kroos’s departure might be the opportunity for him to rise in prominence and get the game time he feels he deserves with the first-team squad.

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