By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Matthäus names Kimmich as Kroos' natural successor

Joshua Kimmich should be the new boss of Germany's midfield following the retirement of Toni Kroos, according to Lothar Matthäus.

 

With Toni Kroos having retired following Germany's Euro 2024 quarter-final exit to Spain, Julian Nagelsmann faces the difficult task of filling the void left by the veteran in the middle of the park.

Asked at a recent press conference who could replace Kroos, Nagelsmann named Bayern prodigy Aleksandar Pavlovic and Stuttgart's Angelo Stiller as players who excel in the same areas as the 34-year-old.

However, according to pundit and former German international Lothar Matthäus, Joshua Kimmich is more suited to the difficult task of replacing Kroos.

"In terms of mentality, personality, quality and experience, Joshua Kimmich is the player who can follow in Toni Kroos' footsteps. Especially if some of the old core players like Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller or possibly Ilkay Gündogan retire, someone like Kimmich will have to take on even more responsibility. Perhaps even as captain of this team in the future," Matthäus wrote in a column for Sport.de.

"It all depends on what Julian Nagelsmann wants. Pascal Gross would also be someone who could fill Kroos's role. Groß has a lot to offer in terms of age, Premier League experience and a lot of games under his belt," he added.

"I think it's problematic to declare Aleksandar Pavlovic the successor to Toni Kroos. Toni Kroos has won more titles than Pavlovic has played in the Bundesliga. Kroos has also played more international games than Angelo Stiller in the Bundesliga. That shows how big and responsible this job is. It's probably too early for the 19-year-old Pavlovic or Stiller, who has only had one strong season with VfB Stuttgart.

"Kimmich has already experienced a lot. That's why I want him on the list for this discussion," Matthäus said.

Kimmich, 29, has been capped 91 times by Germany. He's a natural central midfielder, but was used as a right-back at the European Championship.

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