After months of speculation and drama, Mario Götze has officially completed his transfer to return to his hometown club Borussia Dortmund.
As has been written about extensively on this site in the last few days (read: here, here and here), it was only a matter of time before the two clubs agreed on a transfer fee that would send Götze 370 miles north to Dortmund.
“The negotiations were carried out very seriously, and very fairly. For that we’d like to thank Borussia Dortmund, Mario, his father, and his agent.” Said Karl Heinz Rummenigge. “I think the transfer is a good solution for all parties. Bayern would like to thank Mario for his three years in a Bayern jersey, and wishes him all the best for the future!”
While many clubs were rumored to be in the hunt for the 24-year-old, including Tottenham and Liverpool, Dortmund always seemed to be the front-runner to land his signature if he did decide to leave the club.
The rumored transfer fee seems to lie somewhere between €23 million and €27 million, which is a fair deal for both sides.
It really is unfortunate that Götze couldn’t realize his massive potential as a footballer at Bayern. After two so-so years to start his Bayern tenure, Götze looked to be establishing himself as a first team player early in the 2015/16 season, putting in impressive shifts vs both Dortmund and Wolfsburg, before an Adductor injury kept him out for four months. By the time he returned, his spot in the team was seemingly gone.
More upsetting than Götze’s footballing career at Bayern - to me at least - is the way he was treated by management in his last few months at the club. He was publicly pushed out the door by not only Rummenigge, but also by Carlo Ancelotti. Instead of encouraging him to fight for his spot, Gotze’s desire and statement of intent to make it at Bayern was met with - what seemed like - laughter, at the time by Rummenigge.
For a club that treats it’s players like family, it’s embarassing as a supporter to see them drive Götze out so publicly, as to humiliate him before they kick him to the curb, instead of handling their business the way they usually do: professionally, and behind closed doors.
As for what Götze needs to do to become successful again? Playing in his natural position would be a good start, but most of all, he needs to find the joy in being a footballer again. He needs to get back to his old, energetic self, and relax out on the pitch. Look at clips of his days at Dortmund and compare them to his highlights at Bayern. Goals and assists at Dortmund were met with smiles and joy, while the same achievements at Bayern seemed to be met with relief.
Still only 24, there’s no reason to think he won’t be able to turn his career around under Thomas Tuchel and become the player we once hoped.
Good luck, Mario!