Bayern Munich’s signing of Mario Götze in 2013 was seen as a major coup for the Bavarian’s and for Götze is was a chance to firmly plant himself as one of Germany’s brightest stars. Unfortunately for him, it hasn’t worked out the way he might have imagined. He’s now on is way back to the Signal Iduna Park, and has swapped red and white for black and yellow. It will be an awkward homecoming as many Dortmund fans burned his shirt upon hearing the news that he would be moving to Munich. However, with recent departures at Dortmund, he’s going to be given a chance to prove his worth. It might be the right move for all involved.
Götze can now put his transfer saga and begin preparing for the upcoming season. Going back to Dortmund gives him the chance to reignite his career which stalled in Munich. If he can get his game back on track, then he’s a quality replacement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Having lost the Armenian to the lure of Premier League money, Dortmund will need someone to create chances for Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. For all of his problems he had at Bayern, Götze was still a real talent with the ball at his feet and at times he could still create world class chances. In Bayern’s 5-1 trouncing of Dortmund, this past season Götze provided Robert Lewandowski with one of the best assists of the season.
Bayern clearly had no need for him, which is unfortunate from Götze’s point of view, but for the two teams it might have worked out perfectly. Bayern gets rid of an asset they deemed to be surplus, and Dortmund gets a player they’ve felt comfortable with before. Remember, before moving to Bayern Götze had already won the Bundesliga twice with Dortmund. In fact, since 2010 Götze has only failed to be on a Bundesliga-winning side once.
Apart from the obvious tactical benefit for Dortmund, Götze’s return is also something of a PR victory. Since 2013, Dortmund has seen 3 of their biggest stars move to Munich. Great news for Bayern fans, infuriating for the rest of Germany. With the Götze purchase, Dortmund will likely spin this as taking back what was theirs all along. It will be a little awkward when those Dortmund fans who publicly set alight their old Götze shirt walk into the BVB fan shop to buy a new one, but they’ll feel better when they realize they brought him back from Bayern Munich.
Götze always felt like a small fish in far too big of a pond by many in Bayern’s front office. He was one of the few players that actually regressed under Pep Guardiola. Some may point to scoring the winning goal at the 2014 World Cup which led to the 24-year-old getting too much of an ego, but the fact as Guardiola never gave him much of a chance. Carlo Ancelotti didn’t seem like he would be much kinder to Götze either.
This next season might be make or break for Götze’s career. He’s going be given more responsibility at Dortmund, but he’s going to be on a short leash. The one issue with his move to Dortmund is that he’s not going to be a guaranteed starter. At first, he will be starting, and maybe that’s all he needs. If he gets off to a hot start then maybe Dortmund is the place he was always destined to be, but if not, if his time at Bayern stunted his growth too much then it’s bad news for the young German international. Once dubbed the “German Messi” by fans in Germany, Götze has to make good on his move back to where his professional career began. If he’s successful it will go a long way to saying “I’m sorry, I should have never left.”