The momentum that began in January made Toni Kroos one of our most likely targets this summer but the interest has cooled following Louis van Gaal’s reported lack of interest.
Now, speculation has seen Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s future at Bayern Munich called into question due to his playing style potentially clashing with Pep Guardiola.
Both midfielders would be great signings by Van Gaal but who is the better fit for United?
Taking a look back to last season, their statistics were very similar according to to whoscored.com:
Kroos: 35 appearances | 3 goals | 6 assists | 92.7% pass completion | 1.9 tackles per game
Schweinsteiger: 29 appearances | 7 goals | 4 assists | 90% pass completion | 1.5 shots per game
With regards to age, Kroos is the younger at 24 in comparison to 29-year-old Schweinsteiger and both have an affinity with Van Gaal. Kroos was one of the young players Van Gaal brought into his Bayern side while Schweinsteiger was specifically moved from the wing into midfield after Van Gaal noticed his qualities as a central player.
So who do we need more? Statistically speaking they performed similarly. Schweinsteiger scored more while Kroos’ passing ability was his greatest strength and both play similar positions, regularly occupying the two central midfield roles in the Bayern team.
For those reasons, perhaps it would be best to see how they would adapt into Van Gaal and his famed 4-3-3 system.
Ideally, Van Gaal would like his three midfield roles to comprise of a defensive midfielder, a playmaker who sits in front of the back four and a ‘box-to-box’ type player who possesses a high work rate.
Both Schweinsteiger and Kroos tick the boxes in that respect as well. Schweinsteiger is the more likely to adapt naturally to the deeper lying playmaker role but he is equally adept going forward, much like Kroos is.
The fact of the matter is that if either Schweinsteiger or Kroos were to join this summer, United’s midfield would be significantly better off because of it.
However, the question still remains – would you choose Schweinsteiger or Kroos if given the choice?