Liverpool have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir, as Olympique Lyon decided to pull out of negotiations over the transfer.
The France international was understood to be close to making a switch to Anfield but with the sudden U-turn performed by the player’s club, Liverpool have been left hanging. With the deal for Fekir considered to be off the table, the Reds must look at possible alternatives and one name that immediately jumps to mind is Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Gotze.
The German international has suggested that he would be keen on working with Jurgen Klopp again, meaning the player might be open to the prospect of a transfer.
“I decided to leave Bayern and Jurgen Klopp was interested in getting me to Liverpool. And I was also interested in working with him again,” he told DAZN (h/t Mirror). [The desire to work with Klopp again] still exists. He is a world-class coach and that’s why it’s always an option. I decided to join Borussia Dortmund, but it was not a decision against Liverpool or Jurgen Klopp.”
Liverpool should pounce on the opportunity to sign the 25-year-old from Dortmund. Gotze was once regarded as the next big thing in the world of football. Having come through the Dortmund academy, the 25-year-old received his chance in the first-team in 2010. At the time, Klopp was the manager at Dortmund and the playmaker flourished under his guidance.
Gotze went on to play a crucial role for Dortmund, as he helped them topple Bayern from the top of the Bundesliga table. He won two consecutive league titles with the German outfit, during the course of which he made 116 appearances for his boyhood club. The player also netted 31 times and assisted 44 goals, before joining Bayern in the summer of 2013.
Having moved to a rival club, the German struggled to get going at the Allianz Arena, despite having led Germany to the 2014 FIFA World Cup triumph in Brazil.
Eventually, Gotze returned to Dortmund in the summer of 2016, with a damaged reputation and loss of confidence. But the move did not benefit him as the 25-year-old endured a difficult campaign. To make matters worse, he was diagnosed with a muscular disorder.
However, he was back with the first-team at the start of the 2017/18 season. Gotze gradually worked his way into the team and since then, he has shown signs of regaining his old form. The attacking midfielder finished the campaign with 2 goals and 7 assists from 32 appearances across all competitions.
While it would be easy to dismiss him as a player on the wane, one shouldn’t forget what he is capable of.
After all, we are talking about a player who put in some dazzling performances in the No.10 role for Dortmund, struck up a deadly partnership with Marco Reus at the Signal Iduna Park, and seamlessly adapted into playing as a false-nine for both Bayern and the German national team.
Gotze, despite his struggles, remains an extremely talented and gifted player. His speed, technique, dribbling skills and playmaking capabilities can prove to be a game-changer.
And it was under Klopp that the 25-year-old played some of his best football at Dortmund. Thus, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to suggest that the manager could consider him as an option. Furthermore, the prospect of him linking up with the deadly Mohamed Salah and the speedy Sadio Mane would be a mouth-watering prospect for Liverpool.
And that is exactly why they should take the plunge and make a move for Gotze. He might not be the hottest property in football right now but he is a special talent. And if nurtured under the guidance of Klopp, Gotze could take Liverpool to greater heights.