Herrera v Kroos: Comparing the stars halfway through the season

Toni Kroos Germany National Team

Comparing the Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielders' league performances to date.

For much of last season, Manchester United were linked with a move for then-Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos, with former manager David Moyes sparking all sorts of rumours when he was allegedly photographed with the player's agent.

Kroos was nearing the end of his current contract at the Allianz Arena and United were said to be very interested in a player who had the passing range to fill the boots of former great Paul Scholes.  In the end, Kroos headed to Real Madrid, with some reports claiming incoming United manager Louis van Gaal pulled the plug on a potential deal.

But whatever the reason, United instead moved for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, who impressed in his early weeks at Old Trafford before a series of injuries took their toll.

Having reached the halfway point in the season, and after the Spaniard netted a fantastic goal in the FA Cup on Sunday, we take a look at Herrera's and Kroos's league contributions to date.

As you can see from the stats below, the Real star has played considerably more than the United man due to the latter's injury problems, but many of the figures are averages per match in order to make a fair comparison.

  Passing AccuracyGoalsGoal AssistsKey Passes per GameShots per GameTackles per GameInterceptions per GameDribbles per GameMins Played
Toni Kroos 92.7% 1 7 2.4 1.1 2.5 0.6 1.3 1,402
Ander Herrera 87% 2 3 1.3 0.9 2.1 1.4 1.1 624

Kroos comes out on top in most of the key areas for a midfielder, with a superior passing accuracy (which is no surprise considering it is what he is famed for), far more assists and more key passes per appearance.

The German star also averages more shots on target per game, more tackles and more dribbles (just), with Herrera out-performing him in terms of goals scored and average interceptions per match.

There is no doubt Kroos would have excelled at Old Trafford, but it was not do be, and if he can remain fit Herrera has what it takes to shine at United.

And if van Gaal is ultimately successful in his alleged pursuit of Kevin Strootman, United could soon have a midfield to give Real a run for their money.

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