In one of the most spectacular – and controversial – transfers in club history, Mario Götze will return to Borussia Dortmund from Bayern Munich. Initial reports in Germany suggest the Black and Yellows will pay a fee in the region of €22 to €26 million for the 24-year-old, is thought to have signed who signed a four-year contract running until 2020.
The move is still pending a medical, which Götze will complete when he returns from a break following Euro 2016.
Götze had left the club three years ago for a then-club-record fee of €37 million, joining the Bavarians after spending six seasons with Dortmund. The 24-year-old was a major part of Jürgen Klopp’s Bundesliga-winning teams in 2010/11 and 2011/12, as well as the team that reached the UEFA Champions League final in 2013.
In a pure sporting sense, his return makes perfect sense. He fills a void left by the departures of Ilkay Gündogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and should fit into Dortmund’s squad quite well thanks to his technical abilities.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel will probably have to get him up to fitness, however, seeing as Götze hasn’t looked to be in the best shape recently. Overall, injuries more than anything led to his failure at Bayern.
On the other hand, though, there’s the elephant in the room. Many fans still hold a grudge over Götze’s transfer in 2013. It’s understandable, considering he left for the biggest sporting enemy in a time when Dortmund were still relatively close to Bayern.
After saying he could see himself ending his career with the Black and Yellows only a few months before using his release clause to link up with Pep Guardiola in Bavaria, the versatile attacker burned many brideges with Dortmund’s fans.
When an interest was first reported earlier this year, a group of fans reacted with a banner that read: “Milano or Madrid, just not Dortmund. Piss off Götze.”
While many fans won’t have much of a problem with his return, because they see the sporting value of the deal, quite a few will remain sceptical if not downright hostile towards BVB’s newest addition.
If nothing else Götze should be applauded for facing the music in Dortmund and not choosing the easy way out with a transfer abroad, however.
There can be no question about his qualities, at any rate. He remains a generational talent and, as such, would usually not be in the club’s reach. Despite the controversy, this is one of the most exciting transfers Dortmund could’ve made.
“When I moved from BVB to Bayern in 2013, that was a conscious decision that I will not hide behind today,” Götze told BVB.de.
“Three years later, at 24 years old, I look at my decision with different eyes. I understand that many fans could not understand my decision (from 2013). I wouldn’t do it again today, either.
“When I return home, I want to try to convince everyone – especially those who do not welcome me with open arms – with my performances. My aim is to play my best football again. For all of us: the club and the BVB fans.”