When 22-year old Mario Götze scored Germany’s World Cup winning goal in 2014 his place was cemented into the football history books and it seemed the world was his oyster, but fast forward six years and it is to clear to see that it was all downhill from there.
From the highs of bursting onto the scene as a teenager in Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side and earning a big move to Bayern Munich to the lows of career-threatening health issues and missing a Champions League final through injury, Götze’s career would be best described as a rollercoaster ride.
Overshadowed by the array of attacking talent in a Dortmund squad that features the likes of Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt, his days at BVB have been numbered and with the club now announcing that he will be leaving at the end of the season, the 27-year old finds himself seeking a new club.
Now in what realistically should be his prime years, the attacking midfielder will be hoping he can find a move to salvage what remains of his career.
Having played a key role in Lucien Favre’s title challenge last season, Götze could still have a lot to offer prospective clubs willing to take a chance despite his injury track record and the fact that he’s only completed 90 minutes once this season.
So, where next?
As Dani Ceballos’ loan from Real Madrid nears its end and the sporadic game time given to Mesut Özil, the Gunners could enter the market for a new German playmaker. However, despite Götze being available on a free transfer, until recently the Arsenal hierarchy have been reluctant to spend big money and may be unlikely to take a gamble on a player who earns around €10 million a year.
Having rejected Liverpool and former Manager Jürgen Klopp when leaving Munich in 2016 in favour of a return to boyhood club Dortmund, the Reds could take a second bite of the cherry. With the Merseyside club now a force to be reckoned with they will be looking to consolidate their dominance in the past two seasons and often the key to staying at the top is squad depth, meaning Klopp could relish the chance to link up with his former player. However, given the existing strength in Klopp’s squad and Götze’s history of injuries, Liverpool is unlikely to be the club to reignite his career if the offer isn’t more than what many would predict to be a squad role.
If Milan can keep a hold of veteran striker Zlatan Ibrhaimovic, a move to the Italian giants could be a viable option for Götze. It is not too often an opportunity to work with a legend of the game arises and linking up with the great Zlatan could be too attractive a prospect to turn down. The 38-year old signed a six-month contract in January and if the Rossoneri can successfully negotiate an extension with the eleven-time Swedish footballer of the year, we could see him lining up alongside World Cup winner Götze.
A move to Leverkusen could be a strong possibility for Götze for two key reasons. With Die Werkself’s talisman Kai Havertz quickly becoming one of the hottest prospects in Europe, the summer transfer window is likely to see the club inundated with offers for the 20-year old midfielder who is likely to move on to bigger and better things to aid his career progression. The potential departure of Havertz coupled with the fact that Götze’s entire career has been based in Germany and his reported desire to remain in his home country could see Leverkusen come calling for the free agent.
Although it is yet unclear what Götze’s next move will be, his career could rely on making the right choice and many will be eager to see if the former wonder kid can return to the world-class form he once possessed.
featured image credit sky sports