MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14: Toni Kroos (L) of Real Madrid CF competes for the ball with William Carvalho (R) of Sporting CP during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Real Madrid CF and Sporting Clube de Portugal at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on September 14, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Real Madrid’s torrid time with injuries has continued as Toni Kroos has become the latest addition to the Real Madrid sick-bay. The German limped off the field in Real Madrid’s 4-2 victory against Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu last weekend.

Kroos was seen stretching during a set-piece situation and subsequently asked to be substituted. Luka Modric was brought on to replace Kroos around the half-hour mark in the game on Saturday. Los Blancos later revealed on their website the exact injury the German midfielder had picked up. Real Madrid have been quoted saying,

“After tests carried out today on the player Toni Kroos by the Real Madrid medical services, he has been diagnosed with an injury to the adductor in his left foot. His recovery will continue to be assessed.”

The injury has occurred at a crucial time of the season for Zidane with the El Clasico scheduled in just about three weeks. Kroos will be running a race against time to be completely fit for this vital fixture. Though this injury would be stinging the Real Madrid faithful and Zidane, there are a certain two players who would want to make the most out of this opportunity if it comes their way. 

 

The injury to Kroos has left vacant an essential position in the Real Madrid starting eleven. The 4th Official lists out the two players who would want to fully capitalise on the injury to Real Madrid’s midfield maestro.

Federico Valverde 

Federico Valverde has been of the best revelations of this season for Real Madrid. The player has immensely grown in confidence after having already spent a season with Real Madrid’s senior team last time around. The injury to Toni Kroos has made way for Valverde in the side.

The Uruguayan has seen his relationship with Zidane grow this season with the French manager trusting the youngster in an important fixture against Atletico de Madrid. Valverde was an absolute gem to watch against Granada as he toiled hard in midfield throughout the ninety minutes. The midfielder’s action heatmap indicated that he had played in all parts of the field and this only goes to show the type of industrious midfielder Valverde is. 

Valverde seems to be the right balance between a defensively commanding Casemiro and distributively smart Toni Kroos. This opportunity in the absence of Kroos would also allow Valverde to take centre stage with Luka Modric, who has seemingly made his return to the side.

Isco

The former Malaga man had an injury crippled 2018/19 season and started the 2019/20 season in a similar fashion. Isco’s injuries have made it difficult for him to find his way into the side despite being completely fit. Isco was a fundamental part of the Real Madrid side that won the UEFA Champions League in 2017 and 2018. However, it has become very difficult for him to break into this Real Madrid side on a regular basis ever since. 

There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for Isco though. The injury to Toni Kroos at such an early stage in the season would compel Zidane to get out his comfort zone as a manager and experiment with things in midfield. No manager would want to leave a player of Isco calibre out of the side, and it would be certainly pinching Zidane somewhere in his head. 

Although Toni Kroos and Isco are two completely different players with entirely different identities and attributes as footballers, Zidane would love to choose from the large variety of skills that Isco has to offer.