When looking at elite-level centrally-positioned midfielders it is easy to see why Bayern Munich academy product Toni Kroos, 24, has attracted the attention of Premier League duo Manchester United and Chelsea, particularly when his statistics from this season are compared to those who fulfill similar roles in England; Arsenal star Jack Wilshere, United's metronome Michael Carrick, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and former Newcastle United player Yohan Cabaye, now at Paris Saint Germain after a successful £19m transfer.
Out of the five, it is Kroos who has completed the most challenges, has the highest passing accuracy (an astonishing 93%), completes a pass more frequently than the other four and has the highest pass per game average.
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A versatile midfielder, Kroos has a strong work-ethic and can feature in a deep midfield role, in the middle, or even as a box-to-box footballer. As well as creating chances for his attack-minded team-mates, he is adept at nullifying those created by his opponents.
Where Kroos excels the most is how often he completes a pass - almost once per minute he is on the field. It stands to logic that the more often one has the football and makes a positive contribution with it (for instance, completing a pass rather than just attempting a pass), the more influence on a game he will have. The closest rival Kroos has in this sense, from the data above, is Michael Carrick both in terms of accurate pass frequency and average passes attempted per match.
Valued at £28m by transfermarkt.co.uk, Kroos is reportedly on the shortlist of both David Moyes and Jose Mourinho, with the former allegedly being handed a £200m transfer fund over the current and subsequent transfer window in order to rebuild United and the latter in the midst of his own overhaul after already adding defensive midfield battler Nemanja Matic and winger Mohamed Salah to his Blues roster.
During Bayern's recent 2-1 win over Stuttgart, Kroos reacted poorly to being substituted by Pep Guardiola, who, according to Metro, has conceded that there are no certainties regarding the German's future: 'He is an important player but things can move fast in football. Here today, gone tomorrow.'
Kroos would apparently request a £150,000 per week contract.
image: © Andrea Sartorati