The German midfielder is not the most visible player2 on the pitch and one will not notice his presence a lot, but when he is absent, you do start to realise what a vital component he has to the team. His counter-pressing and progressive passes are assets that make him effectively irreplaceable and even if they sign players, Los Blancos will not get another Toni Kroos.
Ancelotti’s first task in official terms as a Real Madrid boss for the second time is a fixture away at the Estadio Mendizorrotza against a Deportivo Alaves side, against whom Kroos’ presence would have surely been pivotal. Prior to kicking off La Liga’s newest edition, the Whites also face a rejuvenated AC Milan side in a friendly at Klagenfurt over the coming weekend.
Though Kroos may have played a little part in it, or entirely have skipped it, his absence now gives the manager to do a test run on how the midfield can align for the first fixture of the season a week later, and subsequently those matches which Kroos misses. In which ways can Los Blancos use their troops so as to mitigate his absence’s impact?