German World Cup winner Mario Gotze has seemingly fallen out of favour at FC Bayern Munchen in recent times and has been linked with a possible move to Liverpool in the off-season.
Since moving to the Allianz Arena in 2013 from Borussia Dortmund, the former winner of the Golden Boy Award – given to the youth player in Europe who impressed the most in a 12-month period – has struggled for game-time and has often found himself behind Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben in the pecking order for Bayern.
Gotze’s contract with the Bavarians will enter its final year at the end of the current season, and since incoming Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti reportedly doesn’t have the versatile forward in his plans, it may be time for his current club to cash in.
Liverpool have emerged as the likely destination for the 23-year-old playmaker, who is of course no stranger to Reds manager Jurgen Klopp. After all it was Klopp who first gave Gotze a chance at Dortmund, where they spent four seasons together.
Whilst many of Europe’s top clubs will undoubtedly be interested in his signature, Merseyside may well be the best destination for Gotze. Here’s why:
Regular playing time
It is no shame struggling for game time behind the likes of Muller, Ribery and Robben, but in recent times Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman have all been favoured down the right flank for Bayern.
Guardiola changed his team on 4 positions today. Mario Götze still on the bench 90 mins for Bayern. Hello England! Be prepared
— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) March 19, 2016
The Reds also have a few fine options at their disposal in that area of the pitch, but none of the experience (he scored the winner in the World Cup final after all) and talent of Gotze. He would be one of the first names on the Reds team sheet whenever he is available, which is exactly what the player needs after featuring in only 12 of Bayern’s matches to date this season.
Good relationship with Klopp
After drafting Gotze into the Dortmund fold as a teenager in 2009, Klopp was clearly upset that his prodigal son’s desire to move to their bitter rivals was revealed shortly before the 2012/2013 Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
“I can say that time heals everything. It’s going to take a while, this news is not good for us,” Klopp said at the time.
It seems as if enough time has no passed for the old wounds to heal, after Gotze admitted earlier this month that he is in regular communication with Klopp.
“We are texting now and again,” Gotze said during an interview ZDF TV. “You should ask Jurgen,” he added when asked if a move to Merseyside is on the cards.
Chance to resurrect his career
Despite being regarded as one of the finest young players in Europe over the last six years or so, Gotze hasn’t quite delivered on the potential he showed prior to his move to Bavaria. Gotze isn’t the first player to make a move to one of the world’s elite clubs too soon in his career, and a move to Liverpool might be just the tonic for him.
In fact, the Merseysiders have already proved to be an excellent choice for younger players to make a name for themselves, after Daniel Sturridge and Phillippe Coutinho – arguably Liverpool’s two best players at the moment – both got their careers back on track at the Anfield club following failed moves to Chelsea and Inter Milan, respectively.