David Moyes admits he wanted to sign Toni Kroos as the heir to Paul Scholes while he was in charge of Manchester United.
With Michael Carrick in and out of the starting XI in recent years, United have lacked a midfielder to dictate play since the retirement of Old Trafford legend Scholes, who made over 700 appearances for the club, in 2013.
And Moyes, who endured one fateful season in charge of the Red Devils after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, believes Kroos would have been the ideal player to replace Scholes.
In a column analysing Germany’s Euro 2016 prospects, the Scot lauded the ability of the 26-year-old.
“If Germany don’t yet possess ruthlessness in attack what they do have is the ability of Kroos to open the game up. Kroos drives the car,” he wrote in The Times.
“Teammates trust him to find them anywhere on the pitch, so the minute Kroos gets the ball you have a number of players looking to make runs in behind the opposition defence. They trust him to attempt the right pass — and in most cases put the ball where they want.
“Kroos is a special talent, probably the closest thing at this tournament to a Xabi Alonso, an Andrea Pirlo or Paul Scholes. It’s the number of times he gets on the ball, his vision, his choice of when to play long or short.
“He’s got a great array of passes and the big thing for me is he tries to make winning passes. He tries to make passes that play teammates through. He’s not one who just goes sideways and backwards.
“He’s a quarterback of a midfield player, who can open you up with one pass, and there aren’t many like that. Like Scholes, Alonso and Pirlo, he’ll also try and get forward when he can and have a few shots — because he’s such a good striker of the ball. He doesn’t just sit in front of the back four.
“I wanted to bring Kroos to Manchester United, from Bayern. I thought his range of passing and his ability to play people in would have made him a top United player, maybe Scholes’ heir. He’s gone on and shown at Real Madrid what a fantastic footballer he is.”
United continue to be linked with Kroos, who is also believed to be a target for fierce rivals Manchester City.