Created on 11-04-2010 at 00:00 AM
After Saturday’s 1-1 draw between Leverkusen and Bayern, Toni Kroos claimed the prize of Arjen Robben’s shirt. As of 1 July, the 20-year-old Kroos will again have his own FCB jersey. “It was clear to us internally the whole time,” Bayern director of sport Christian Nerlinger commented, following official confirmation that Kroos will end his eighteen-month loan spell with Leverkusen and return to Munich.
“It’s settled. It was always only a loan. Leverkusen have benefited, Toni Kroos has benefited, and so have Bayern Munich,” Nerlinger said on Saturday after the Bundesliga meeting between the clubs. “We always knew he’d go back if that’s what Bayern wanted. That’s why you have contracts,” observed Bayer managing director Wolfgang Holzhäuser.
Glorious chance missed
The side currently lying third in the table made no secret of their hopes of retaining the midfielder for longer, but understood that the final say lay with FCB. “It’s what we expected, as Bayern have consistently said recently. And it’s now confirmed, entirely in a spirit of friendship,” said Leverkusen director of sport Rudi Völler. “Everyone’s benefited from the loan deal.”
Kroos, on nine goals and nine assists, is one of the league’s top attacking players this term. “I’m more mature in terms of quality,” the player said. That quality was on display again at the BayArena, as the midfielder’s perceptive passing kept the contest open and close. Kroos smacked a free-kick against the post in the build-up to Arturo Vidal’s equaliser, and came within inches of winning the game for his current club with a late volley.
Van Gaal: A playmaker
“He’s a good player, as everyone can see. His technique is very refined,” commented Mario Gomez. “He’s a great lad and a great player. He’ll definitely fit in well with us,” added captain Mark van Bommel, who has played alongside the youngster in 19 Bundesliga and seven European fixtures.
Louis van Gaal is well aware of the Germany international’s quality. Compared to Saturday’s Leverkusen line-up, the Bayern boss said Kroos “won’t be playing on the left side of the field. I think he can fill a playmaking role – and that’s why I want him back at Bayern.” The coach is due to meet the player shortly to outline his future prospects at FCB.
“I think Bayern can offer me a good future, otherwise they wouldn’t bother bringing me back,” commented Kroos, who feels he has “a good chance” of regular football in Munich. “I enjoyed playing against Bayern, but I’d also enjoy playing with them.”