Mario Gotze 2.0: The Homecoming
It’s the season of homecomings! While Paul Pogba looks set to return to the club which previously let him go for free, Mario Gotze has signed on the dotted line for a side from where he had a rather acrimonious departure. The German World Cup winner has signed for Borussia Dortmund and is all set to ply his trade at the Signal Iduna Park next season.
The Bitter exit
Back in 2013, Gotze’s move from Dortmund to Bayern Munich left a bitter taste in the mouth and it was not just the fact that he was joining Dortmund’s arch rivals. The manner in which the announcement was made did not go down well with the Dortmund faithful and they made their feelings known to the German media.
It was prior to the Champions League final featuring the two giants that both parties announced the deal. Gotze, suffering from an injury sat out the final and Bayern went on to clinch the title.
The Next Big Thing
Since the start of his career, Mario Gotze has been referred to as the “Next Big Thing”; the future of German football. After joining Bayern, he won a few league titles and the Cup competitions. Only the Champions League trophy eluded him.
He scored plenty of goals and laid out a few for the others. In 2014, he scored in the final of the FIFA World Cup thereby delivering the trophy for his nation. All this, he achieved as a Bayern Munich player.
However on the personal front, when you take into account his performances over the last few seasons, one can well say that he has not lived up to the expectations. After switching sides, Gotze failed to produce the performances that had previously caught the eye of the Bayern bosses.
Under Pep Guardiola, the German international was expected to be the mainstay in the midfield. But a combination of injuries and inconsistent displays culminated in Gotze losing his place in the starting eleven.
The likes of Thiago Alcantara, Xabi Alonso and even Joshua Kimmich became regulars while Gotze had to remain content by sitting on the bench.
The Change of Guard
Towards the end of last season, the Bavarians announced that Spanish boss Pep Guardiola would be making way for the Italian Carlo Ancelotti. After delivering the League and Cup double, Pep left the job and he was taken over by the ex-Real Madrid, Chelsea and AC Milan manager.
This change of guard was seen as an opportunity for Gotze to resurrect his career at the Allianz Arena. But sadly that was not to be. Ancelotti made up his mind and decided that the midfielder would not feature in his scheme of things and Gotze and his agent were asked to find a club.
The “Prodigal” son returns
Post the Euros, speculation was rife regarding Mario’s future. All that can now be put to rest as Mario is returning home. Mario Gotze is going back to the place where it all began. For many, the prodigal son is returning home. However, when you look at the details, Gotze has been far from “prodigal” for Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund sold him for a fee of around £32 million and have now bought him back for a fee in the region of £22 million. Bringing in the discount factor, that is a gain of more than £10 million. Further, there is a huge difference between the Mario Gotze of 2013 and 2016. Back when he left, he was an unfinished product lacking the experience.
Gotze has been through periods of highs and lows over the past three years and that has certainly taught him a lot. So the Mario Gotze that Thomas Tuchel now gets is a young man who is raring to go and put the troubles of his past behind him. Dortmund get a better version of Mario Gotze than what Bayern did in 2013.
So all in all, there is no doubt that Dortmund have had a good transfer window. They did lose out Henrikh Mkhitaryan but he has been replaced by Gotze. Further, Wolfsburg man Andre Schurrle is also on his way to the Signal Iduna Park.
With Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looking to stay put and Shinji Kagawa in the mix, the upcoming season looks promising for the Die Borussen.