Debate: Should Bayern get rid of Kroos?

Talks over a new deal for the 24-year-old have broken down, prompting talk that he could leave the Allianz Arena, and Goal’s experts are here to debate his future

DEBATE
By Enis Koylu & Stefan Coerts

There’s always a story brewing at Bayern Munich and the man who can’t get his name out of the headlines at the moment is Toni Kroos.

The gifted midfielder is currently locked in a standoff with the club’s hierachy over a new contract and after reacting angrily to being replaced in the recent 2-1 win over Stuttgart, he has found himself rooted to the bench – an unused substitute in their two subsequent games.

Neither club nor player have been willing to back down and with Kroos’ current deal set to expire at the end of next season, he may find himself looking for a new club sooner rather than later.

A key figure in last term’s treble win, a Kroos exit would be highly controversial. Should Bayern sell up? Below, two Goal experts give contrasting views as to how Bayern should deal with the situation.

“SELLING KROOS WOULD COME BACK TO HAUNT BAYERN”

By Enis Koylu

The very idea of selling Kroos is insane. The Germany international has been in majestic form since the start of last season and had successfully ousted Arjen Robben from the first team prior to his injury against Juventus, which ended his 2012-13 campaign.

He picked up where he left off this term and, despite his meagre stats of one goal and three assists in 18 Bundesliga games, he has been vital to Bayern – keeping the play flowing in a similar way to Luka Modric at Real Madrid.

Tactically he is different to all of his midfield team-mates. He excelled as a No.10 last season, but has also proven himself when filling a deeper role. His versatility is invaluable. Thiago Alcantara, his obvious competitor for a starting spot has not convinced in a defensive role, even though his playmaking has been superior.

Kroos himself has noticed his own suitability for Pep Guardiola’s football philosophy, saying: “Our style of play is a lot of fun. It really suits me that we use a lot of short passes through the middle.”

At 24, he has extraordinary scope to grow. He is already one of the world’s leading midfielders and if Bayern decide to sell, it would surely be to one of Europe’s top clubs, meaning he could well come back to haunt them in the Champions League.

Apart from anything else, Schweinsteiger cannot be relied upon to stay fit and is approaching 30, while Philipp Lahm is entering the twilight of his career. When you have one of Germany’s top young midfielders, you shouldn’t alienate him. Signing a replacement would be expensive and, in all likelihood, not an upgrade.

Bayern’s philosophy has long been to build a team based around their academy products and Kroos has been in Bavaria since he was 16. He has been there through the club’s good and bad times and deserves better than to be exiled from the first team.

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“NO ONE AT BAYERN IS IRREPLACEABLE”



By Stefan Coerts

Kroos might have developed into an important first-team player in the past few seasons, but the midfielder is by no means irreplaceable for Bayern.

This is illustrated by the Bavarians’ impressive form in the second half of the 2012-13 campaign when the 24-year-old was unavailable due to injury. The Germany international missed a total of 16 games after the winter break and FCB emerged victorious on 15 occasions, drawing the other and winning the treble.

Germany legend Gunter Netzer, therefore, had a valid point when assessing Kroos’ situation earlier this month.

“Kroos is playing a risky game at Bayern. He might be overrating himself a bit in a way that his wage demands do not reflect his worth to the team. He’d be wise to have a good look at the squad and re-think his own situation,” Netzer stated.

A quick look at the current Bundesliga champions’ current roster confirms that Kroos is indeed one of many midfielders at the club rather than the vital cog in the Bayern machine that he seemingly considers himself to be.

Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara, Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller are all capable of playing in Kroos’ preferred positions in midfield and Pep Guardiola has already shown in recent games that he’s happy to leave the German out of his team.

It would make perfect sense to sell Kroos at the end of this season in order to prevent him from leaving on a free in 18 months’ time. With his current deal due to expire in the summer of 2015, Bayern really have no other option but to present the midfielder with an ultimatum: lower your demands and sign a new deal or be sold come June.

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Guardiola warns of complacency in 'very dangerous' Hamburg clash

Bert van Marwijk’s side have endured a torrid run of form in the Bundesliga but the Bayern Munich boss insists the league counts for nothing in the cup clash

Pep Guardiola has insisted that Bayern Munich must be wary heading into their “very dangerous” DFB-Pokal quarter-final with Hamburg.

Bert van Marwijk’s side sit second-bottom of the Bundesliga table, having won just four league matches all season, and were beaten 3-1 in the previous meeting with the European champions.

Guardiola, however, believes comparing the teams’ contrasting league fortunes could prove costly for die Roten as they bid to maintain their trophy assault this season.

“It would be the biggest mistake if we look at the Bundesliga table. We cannot win a title [on Wednesday], but lose one,” the Spaniard told TZ before the trip to the north of Germany.

“[The situation] is very dangerous. Although they do not have as much self-confidence as us, they have good quality in their team.

“We start the match at 0-0 – what has happened in the past does not matter.”

Bayern, currently top of the Bundesliga table, advanced from the last round of the competition with a 2-0 win over FC Augsburg, while Hamburg managed a a 2-1 win over Koln.

Robben: Bayern will lose at some point

The Netherlands international feels it inevitable that the Bavarians will lose to a domestic rival before the conclusion of their 2013-14 campaign

Arjen Robben says that Bayern Munich are unlikely to hold on to their unbeaten record in the Bundesliga for the entire season.

The reigning German champions have so far won 18 out of 20 top-flight fixtures, drawing the remaining two, and Franck Ribery recently stated that the Bavarians aim to remain go the entire campaign without suffering a single defeat.

However, Robben thinks they might struggle to keep up their current form right until the end of the 2013-14 season.

“We’ll suffer defeat again at some point. With every passing victory, the risk of losing increases. It won’t be a huge travesty for us though and definitely won’t throw us off our stride,” the Dutchman told the official Bundesliga website.

“Records are of no interest to us; all we want to do is win our matches. We don’t think about how many games we’ve won in a row or how long it’s been since our last defeat.

“Nothing is handed to us on a silver platter and it’s up to us to continue working hard for our success.”

Bayern take on Hamburg in the DFB Pokal on Wednesday before resuming their Bundesliga campaign against Freiburg at the weekend.

Kroos could be in trouble at Bayern, says Helmer

The former Germany international thinks the midfielder has made life complicated for himself with his reaction to being taken off against Stuttgart

Former Bayern Munich defender Thomas Helmer believes that Toni Kroos faces a tough task to fight himself back into Pep Guardiola’s starting XI.

The 24-year-old midfielder lost his starting berth after publicly showcasing his frustration with his substitution in the 2-1 win over Stuttgart last month, while the breakdown of talks over a new contract has also reportedly caused consternation at the Allianz Arena.

Consequently, Helmer thinks that the Germany international might have to settle for a spot on the bench for the foreseeable future.

“Pep gave a signal to the entire team by dropping Kroos. The fact that Toni didn’t start in the past few games is almost certainly related to his reaction after he was taken off against Stuttgart,” the 48-year-old told AZ.

“Kroos is the type of player that Guardiola likes. He was an undisputed starter in the first half of the season. But that was also the result of Thiago Alcantara and Mario Gotze’s injury problems.

“He could be in trouble from here on. Pep also has Philipp Lahm, Thiago and Gotze who can feature in midfield. And those players are not the worst around …”

Kroos has a contract with Bayern until June 2015 and both parties have so far been unable to reach an agreement over a new deal because of the player’s wage demands.

Clubs such as Manchester United and Juventus are reportedly closely monitoring the Germany international’s situation at the Allianz Arena.

Ribery out of Arsenal clash

The winger has undergone surgery and will be absent for several weeks, meaning he will miss the last-16 clash with the Gunners

Bayern Munich have confirmed that Franck Ribery will miss the first-leg of the club’s last 16 Champions League clash with Arsenal after having surgery to his buttocks.

The France winger, 30, was absent from the Bavarians’ 2-0 win over Nurnberg on Saturday with the injury and went under the knife on Thursday in a bid to completely eradicate the problem.

A statement on Bayern’s website said: “An examination on Monday revealed that the bruise, which had pressed on a nerve, was completely removed at surgery last Thursday.

“After healing, the 30-year-old will begin exercise therapy later this week and a week later he will enter back into running training.

“This will mean he will miss the club’s next few games, including the first leg of the Champions League clash with Arsenal.”

The Champions League holders travel to the Emirates on February 19 before the return leg on March 12.