Three seasons after leaving Signal Iduna Park, Borussia Dortmund has re-signed Mario Götze from arch rivals Bayern Munich on a four-year-deal.
Carrying a name of a traitor after swapping life in Dortmund for the Allianz Arena much like Robert Lewandowski, the 24-year-old has returned ‘home’. Götze was one of Pep Guardiola’s first signings in the summer of 2013 and was expected to become one of the most exciting young players in Europe, although his time in Munich was a domestic success – winning three Bundesliga titles, two German cups and scoring the winner against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup – his career has altered and progression as an individual has certainly taken a pause.
Götze is a product of Dortmund’s youth academy, first entering the club as an eight-year-old before coming a fan favorite at the Westfalenstadion. Leaving for Bayern was the right thing to do, as he was fast becoming an superlative player with colossal potential and a move to one of the biggest clubs in the world was on the agenda, although it has turned out to be a bad move from the German international.
Under Jürgen Klopp, Götze was one of the most influential players in Europe and was sought to become one of the best players of our time, having scored 22 goals in 83 league appearances for Dortmund, where he was a main asset to their squad whilst his explicit performances caught the eye of many clubs around Europe who were sniffing around for his signature. Before his move to Munich, nearly any club in world football would have signed Klopp’s golden boy, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Götze became the most expensive German player of all time after Bayern Munich triggered his €37 million release clause, which caused uproar throughout Germany. Die Schwarzgelben faithful had been betrayed by one of their own yet again and of course felt betrayed by the once beloved Götze.
Not only had the BVB faithful been let down though, Götze also let down his father type figure and former manager Klopp, who treated the player as if he was a son. On Bayern signing Götze, Klopp said:
“Götze was the player Guardiola wished to sign. So if it’s anyone’s fault it’s mine. I cannot make myself 15cm smaller and learn Spanish. Götze wants to work with this extraordinary coach that is Guardiola. I cannot preach football of quick transitions and now start playing Tiki Taka.”
From that day, just like that, Götze went from hero to villain to the Yellow wall.
Where did it all go wrong?
Carrying the pressure of being the most expensive German player of all time, brought substantial weight on his shoulders and the pressure to deliver for one of the biggest clubs in the world seemed to be too much for the young star.
The impetus was on Götze to perform and cement himself a place in the Bayern team on a regular basis. Still premature into his career, predominately playing in a CAM role which was his favoured position, Guardiola often played him elsewhere.
He was deployed in a deeper midfield role where he failed to deliver for the former Barcelona coach. Not just his own doing though – this was a massive mistake by the management team as he shouldn’t have been heavily relied on in an unnatural position. From his uninspiring performances he was dropped down in the pecking order and warmed the bench whilst watching Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman join the club.
Last season Götze made a handful of appearances and often rather than not appeared from the substitutes bench, with so many performing stars in the Bayern ranks it was inevitable he was going to be shown the exit door by Bayern after failing to live up to his billing. Something that soon become a reality.
New Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti made a stamp in his arrival after signing the highly rated Renato Sanches from Benfica for €35m (£27.5m). The 18-year-old was set to throw Götze even further down the pecking order and it is not surprisingly rumours gathered shortly after his arrival that the attacking midfielder was told he can leave the Allianz Arena this summer. This comes after it had been thought the Italian’s arrival at the club this summer could give talented player a second chance with the Bundesliga giants.
Three years after leaving his beloved boy hood club, the former youth product has returned home, Borussia Dortmund announced the signing of the 24-year-old on a four-year-deal on 21 July. The size of the deal is unknown, although reports have suggested it is in the region of €22m.
Reports heavily linked the former Bayern man with a move to Liverpool, to link up with Klopp, but his destined passion for a return to BVB saw him be reunited with the yellow side of Germany, even though the fans where in divide about his arrival, some wishing he had never come back.
Dortmund fans let their feelings known on the return of Götze, prior to the 3-2 victory over Werder Bremen back in April; the Yellow Wall produced a banner which read: “Milan or Madrid – Just not Dortmund. P*** off Götze.”
Götze knows he could face a hostile setting upon his return to Dortmund due to his spell at Bundesliga rival Bayern Munich, but wants to win their hearts back.
“Obviously, I made my mind up about it. You always want to feel the support of your fans and play in a positive surrounding. I hope that I can convince my last critics by performing well again. However, I can understand the notions of some fans. I could really imagine to end my career at Dortmund, but within several weeks the situation completely changed and I was confronted with new options,” he said of his controversial decision to move to Bayern.
Götze, who was born in Bavaria but grew up in Dortmund, added: “Now a new chapter starts for me at Dortmund. I’m looking forward to the new season with the new coach and team. I want to show my best football.”
How will Götze do?
The German dominance remains, much like in France with PSG. Bayern have dominated Bundesliga for as long a number of years now, with the last shock coming in 2009 when VfL Wolfsburg clinched the league title. Dortmund have lost Mats Hummels to Bayern, which has left a bitter taste in every Dortmund fans mouth seeing their ex-captain betray them much like Götze and Lewandowski. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was one of the most efficient midfielders in Europe last season, also left the club this summer after joining England giants Manchester United.
Although they have lost such key players, they have signed some of the most exhilarating talent in world football in Ousmane Dembélé and Emre More who have been massively impressive in Dortmund’s pre-season games. They have also added Götze, whilst many feel the gap between the clubs (Bayern and BVB) is slowly closing and the dominance in Germany will slowly come to an end.
Regardless of his previous nightmare season, he is still one of the most talented players in Europe and possesses dazzling excellence whenever he is in the mood. The new Dortmund man needs to be loved. He is a confidence player and you can tell that by his time in Dortmund prior to his time with Stern des Südens.
Thomas Tuchel is the perfect coach for Götze to work under and get back to his heights he managed under Klopp; the BVB manager is in fact perfect for the German and his development.
The Dortmund coach will give Götze the same role he gave Mkhitaryan but predominantly play him in the No.10 role with Marco Reus and new signing André Schürrle either side of him, which is where he thrives most.
Once of the most versatile players in Europe, he will give Tuchel many, many options where to play him. Götze is capable of playing as either a left or right winger, attacking midfielder and also as a false 9, which would certainly give the Dortmund plenty of options.
Götze is considered to be one of the best young players in the world, possessing speed, technique, dribbling skills and play-making capabilities he has all the attributes to be one Europe’s most talented. He will soon win the hearts back of the Dortmund fans with exquisite performances, playing with his friends in Reus and Aubameyang he will find himself back in love with the game, something he lacked whilst at Bayern.
His first mission will be to win the fans trust and love back. Götze will be desperate to get the yellow wall on his side again after somewhat disrespecting them by leaving, this will be hard, but his performances will play a massive part in regaining their love.
Once described as the “German Messi” by football legend Franz Beckenbauer for his speed and style of play, described as “one of the best talents Germany has ever had” by then German Football Association technical director Matthias Sammer. Many expect Götze to rekindle his majestic form which has put him on the footballing map.
Götze will become one of the most exciting talents in football again next season. The sky is his limit, his move back to Dortmund was destined to happen, and it feels like a love story in ways but this time it’ll be the perfect ending.