Back in 2013, Borussia Dortmund youngster Mario Gotze became the most expensive player in German history, moving to rival Bayern Munich for €37 million. It seemed like it would be the ideal fit as one of Germany’s most promising attackers in recent memory playing for new manager Pep Guaridiola was a match made in heaven. German legend Franz Beckenbauer had even dubbed him the “German Messi”, giving Bayern and German fans a lot to look forward to in the coming years.
Unfortunately, it has not exactly been smooth sailing for Gotze. Though his production was more or less the same over the first two seasons, this past season Gotze experienced a big drop off in playing time. For the majority of the season, he was unable to find a place in the starting XI, as Thomas Muller, Douglas Costa, Arjen Robben and Kingsley Coman all were ahead of him in the pecking order. It was evident that Gotze and Guardiola’s relationship was deteriorating, as reports surfaced of the young attacker seeking a move to the Premier League.
Though he scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, Gotze has not exactly reached the heights many thought he would. He only started a couple games in that tournament, and was often left on the bench in favor of Julian Draxler or Miroslav Klose.
Now though, it seems likely that Borussia Dortmund will be able to bring their former star back home. Still just 24, a move back to his boyhood team Dortmund could be exactly what Gotze needs to fully reach his potential. There have been others who left Dortmund for super clubs, only to come back and realize they were in the right place all along. Shinji Kagawa, after an ill-fated transfer to Manchester United, came back a couple years ago and has regained his form as one of the most dominant players in the Bundesliga. Perhaps following Kagawa’s example with kickstart Gotze’s career once more.
Reactions from BVB fans will most likely be mixed at first, since his transfer back in 2o13 was viewed very negatively by people in and around the team. If Gotze is able to replicate once-stellar form however, Dortmund fans will quickly forgive their prodigal son and welcome him back with open arms.