Does Carlos Ancelotti now regret allowing one of the most creative players in Europe leave the Bernabeu?
It was some surprise considering that the German seemed destined to head to the Premier League for much of the second half of last season, with Manchester United particularly eager to sign up when David Moyes was in charge.
But curiously, it comes across as a strange signing for a club so flush with attacking talent as Real are to attempt to sign another German playmaker. After all, last year they agreed to the sale of Mesut Ozil, their's and Germany's top creative force, to Arsenal.
It came on the back of the record signing of Gareth Bale, from a belief that it was impossible to fit all the attacking talent at their disposal into one team. Spanish playmaker Isco was also brought in for a large fee.
Ozil was the one deemed dispensable, and even Angel di Maria nearly followed him out only to win back his place over the course of the season.
At the time, several of Real's big names berated the sale. Ronaldo was quoted by Spanish newspaper AS as telling his Portugal team-mates: “The sale of Ozil is very bad news for me. He was the player who best knew my moves in front of goal... I'm angry about Ozil leaving.”
It's not hard to see why it was such a shock decision, after all, Ozil had been an outstanding creative force at the Bernabeu, assisting more than 1 goal every 2 games (81 in 159 games). He had similar statistics at Werder Bremen (55 in 108 games), the very reason Real bought him in the first place.
And now they are looking to sign his international teammate Kroos, a similar player if capable of playing slightly deeper, for a fee supposedly around what they let their last German star go for. Though Bale very much came good for Los Blancos, Isco and to a degree Asier Illarramendi failed to justify their huge price tags. Given how well Ozil was playing the season before his move, it must be easy for Carlo Ancelotti to regret agreeing to his sale.
Ozil didn't quite reach the same heights at the Emirates as he did with Real, finishing the season with 14 assists in 40 matches, but at 25-years-old, the former Werder Bremen man is sure to be a better player next year.
If he can get back to his 1-in-2 ratio he'll be worth every penny of that £42.5 million