Robbie Kruse is a player with plenty of talent, and it is unfortunate to say injuries have dented his hopes of making a career in Europe.
Since making the move to Bayer Leverkusen in 2013, Kruse has been limited to just 48 appearances at club level which included a loan stint at VfB Stuttgart, with consistency issues and injuries once again proving a decisive problem.
That level of form is a far cry from that of season 2012-13 which saw him earn the transfer to the German giants. From 34 appearances, Kruse would go onto score four goals and provide eight across all competitions for second tier side Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Now aged 28, Kruse must look for a move where he can become a regular feature and get his career back on track. If he is to continue to be selected by Ange Postecoglou on a consistent basis this is a move he must make, no more sitting on the bench for cameo appearances on the odd occasion.
“It would certainly help more if they were playing regular football,” Postecoglou said after the Socceroos’ 2-2 draw with Thailand in November.
“Again, I can’t influence that apart from selection and at the end of the day, the players know the position they’re in and we need our players playing regular football.”
But what about a return home, coming back to where it all began, the A-League?
Despite these conjuring reports of a move to Asia, Kruse earlier this year told FourFourTwo he believes he can still make an impact in Europe: “I’m 27, I’ve missed a lot of time with my last injuries, so I’m sure I can still have a positive impact in Europe.”
“I have a pretty good name now in Germany, so the Bundesliga appeals to me, in saying that it’s difficult to move around as well.”
Well how quickly things can change in a matter of months, a move to the riches of the Chinese Super League looks like an opportune moment for a player who has seen limited action in recent times. It is time to forget about the money and think about what will give you the best facilities to get your body right Robbie.
The A-League is no longer the step down many deemed it to be, it has the possibility to launch a player’s career, to give them a second shot. Take Aaron Mooy for example, his form was taken notice of and he is now producing a strong season at Championship level in England for Huddersfield Town.
Australian recruits headlined the A-League offseason; Tim Cahill, Brett Holman, James Holland, James Troisi, Josh Brillante, Rhys Williams and now Terry Antonis. These guys, who all differ in age, realise the potential the homecoming can have for their careers and it is one Kruse simply must take notice of.
It is where things kicked off for Kruse, his time with the Melbourne Victory saw him net 16 goals from 36 appearances in league competition. The stats are in his favour to show that he could make a major mark for a team in our national competition.
If the former Brisbane Roar player was to return home, any club who pursued his signature would receive a much more complete footballer, having spent time aboard.
Despite reportedly being close to a deal in China, Kruse must open his eyes to a potential return to where it all began. It may not be only a win for the individual, but a win for the fans – as they would get to see another Socceroo strutting their stuff right before their eyes.