Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal may have snubbed the opportunity to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos, but Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho must capitalise and make the newly-appointed Red Devils’ head coach pay for his mistake next season.
United supporters have been left miffed by their new manager’s decision to pass up the opportunity to sign the Germany international, who is widely regarded as one of the best central midfielders in world football. No midfielder has made more appearances for the Bundesliga champions this season than Kroos, who is believed to be keen to leave the Allianz Arena after Bayern refused stubbornly to meet his wage demands.
The 24-year-old has one year left on his current contract, and United were believed to be on the brink of striking a £20m deal with Bayern for the want-away midfield star before Van Gaal bizarrely pulled the plug.
Why Chelsea - and other big European clubs for that matter - haven’t attempted to battle United for Kroos’s signature over the past weeks and months is equally mystifying. Even if Frank Lampard does put pen-to-paper on a new one-year contract at Stamford Bridge over the forthcoming days, there’s no question that the west London outfit need a new central midfielder to replace him.
Nemanja Matic was a fantastic signing for the Blues, but the Serbia international is an enforcer: he’ll never score double figures every season like Lampard has done for the past decade. Finding a star to replace the legendary Chelsea vice-captain is a nigh-on impossible job, but Kroos is a very similar type of player who is certainly capable of scoring upwards of 10 goals during every campaign.
Kroos is reminiscent, in many ways, of Manchester United legend Paul Scholes - which makes it even more confusing why Van Gaal has opted against signing the Bundesliga star. He’s blessed with wonderful vision, he can shoot from distance, he can dictate the tempo of a match - in short, he’s everything that Chelsea need right now. Not when Lampard leaves the Bridge. Right now.
It’s no coincidence that Chelsea haven’t won a Premier League title since Lampard began to decline as a footballer in 2010. That’s not to say Lampard has performed badly over the last four years - far from it - but every footballers’ physical capabilities deteriorate with age, and the soon-to-be 36-year-old is no different.
Lampard scored an incredible 22 goals in 36 matches the last time Chelsea won the Premier League title - in 2009/10 - but Mourinho can ensure that the Blues secure their first league title for five years next May by snapping up the man Manchester United have inexplicably turned down.