By Sabrina Fende (@jeanXgrey)
Mario Götze is probably THE wet dream of any Liverpool supporter around the globe at the moment. The prospect of signing him is enough to make us all lose our minds. Being from Germany and having followed his career from early on though, I do believe there are some downsides to consider before we go into full-on ecstasy about him.
Yes, Götze is a fantastic player, with a talent that exceeds almost anyone’s of his generation. Some statistics summarizing his time at Dortmund have even shown that he was better at that age than Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo had been. When he’s in shape, fit, with the right manager and team around him, he can be one of the world’s very best. But that’s some points to consider, don’t you think?
He’s quite prone for injuries for one thing. Götze has hardly ever been on top of his health since joining Bayern Munich. According to statistics he’s been injured for around 170 days since his summer transfer in 2013, resulting in him missing nearly 40 matches. Needless to say, the list is even longer at Dortmund. And don’t forget he’s already joined Bayern having been on the sidelines after having suffered a torn muscle, which has also caused him to miss his former side’s Champions League final at Wembley against his current club. Well, maybe that one was for the better for him personally, if not for Dortmund…
But there’s my next point: He’s not the most loyal player you could find. In fact, he has with that move joined his youth club’s fiercest rival sports-wise at that time, aside from the emotionally heated rivalry with Schalke, of course. And what for? For money and Pep Guardiola. If he were to join us, I’m pretty sure he’ll not join Man City at least, for his relationship with their upcoming manager can only be described as complicated. But we should really ask ourselves if we want another mercenary in our team, one who would not hesitate to join Chelsea or even Man United if he saw a personal advantage in that. Another Fernando Torres, Raheem Sterling…you name them!
Götze also needs a stable team surrounding him. He needs a manager who encourages him and a team who’ll play according to his strengths. He is said to have a problem with criticism, which he’s gotten his fair share of from Guardiola. Klopp can obviously be the manager to hand him that – he’s proven that much at Dortmund. But there might be a time when we need to think of life after Klopp or when criticism might come from media or the team.
Then again, the team might also present him with yet another problem: We surely lack the quality he’s used to from his time at Bayern or his later days at title-winning Borussia Dortmund. He’s sure to adapt well to Klopp’s style of football, and might be a key factor in developing a team that will fully be able to play according to his philosophy, but there’s a good chance he might fail if the players surrounding him don’t adapt as well as he does.
And here comes my last point, which might go in hand with his proneness for injuries: He’s got a major problem when things get rough! Götze is a player you’re likely to see in Spain or who could also just as well be from Brazil. He goes down easily, even for Bundesliga standards, where referees make the calls a lot sooner than they would in the Premier League. He’s never been one to take a hit and keep playing, or get up again and keep going. He’ll go down, he’ll moan and complain and call for a free kick or a booking. At the very least he will have an incredibly hard time adapting to Premier League football and will surely not be able to give us a glimpse at his amazing technical skills from early on. Firmino adapted sooner than I would’ve thought possible, but he’s a more physical player as it is. Götze is small, he’s a lightweight and Premier League defenders will have a banter kicking him around. He’ll need to man up if he is to play in England!
Don’t think I wouldn’t be excited about his signing, but at a current value of £30m according to transfermarkt.co.uk, I think we’d have to hope for a bargain, because that would be too much, if you ask me. And don’t forget that he might decide to give Bayern another shot with Guardiola leaving and Ancelotti coming in. The elderly Italian might want to keep the young talent after all!