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Why Man Utd should court this FC Bayern midfielder over Kroos

| 21.05.2014

Talk of Toni Kroos signing for Manchester United this summer has ratcheted up in recent days, although the deposed Premier League champions’ greater midfield need could be filled by the 24-year-old’s Bayern Munich colleague Bastian Schweinsteiger.  

Both Germany regulars, who will be expected to play key roles in their country’s 11/2 World Cup tilt this summer, came to prominence under new United boss Louis van Gaal at Bayern and have excelled since under Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola.

While both started their careers as advanced attacking-midfielders and have moved back into more central positions since, the man they affectionately call ‘Schweini’ at the Allianz Arena has exhibited more defensive prowess, consistently averaging twice as many defensive actions as his younger teammate, according to Squawka.com.

Kroos, on the other hand, is clearly the more accomplished playmaker, with 12 Bundesliga assists over the past two seasons compared to seven for Schweinsteiger, although respective pass-accuracy rates of 92 per cent to 89 per cent this term over similar average distances suggests the latter can also ping a ball.

With United midfield trio Tom Cleverley, Marouane Fellaini and Darren Fletcher not looking up to the job this season, Van Gaal could certainly use both his former FCB boys, but with at least three other positions to fill this summer the Dutch master must prioritise signing a Schweinsteiger type over a Kroos.

The new Old Trafford supremo needs to harness creativity from the wealth of attacking talent already present and clearly underutilised this season by former boss David Moyes.

January signing Juan Mata scored six goals and laid on four assists in his 15 Premier League appearances for the club, and the ex-Chelsea man’s Champions League availability next term will be a big boon to United’s chances.

Either the Spaniard, Shinji Kagawa or Wayne Rooney could play in a slightly deeper number 10 role ahead of Michael Carrick, who deserves another chance alongside fresh midfield blood.

That crimson looks ever more likely to be Kroos’, but Van Gaal should take another look at former protege Schweinsteiger – who’s outscored his colleague by 11 Bundesliga goals to eight over the past two seasons – before sanctioning any move.

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Alex Fortune