Today’s transfer gossip sees Spurs linked with a £16m move for Borussia Dortmund’s attacking midfielder Mario Gotze and if the rumours are true, it is a tantalising prospect for the North London club.
Make no mistake, Gotze is world class. He is calm and assured on the ball, is a brilliant dribbler and has speed and fantastic technique – the sort that Tottenham need in the Champions League. He is also a goalscorer and comes with the cachet of having scored the winner in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final in Rio.
Gotze has gone off the boil slightly since returning to Dortmund from Bayern in 2016, but much of that can be attributed to re-adapting to the Dortmund system and ill-health. In February 2017, he was diagnosed with a mystery illness that was later identified as myopathy, a metabolic disease which results in muscular weakness. It was to keep him out of the side for seven months. The 2017-2018 Bundesliga season was to prove a difficult one for Gotze and he finished it with only two goals in 32 appearances.
Gotze first burst onto the German football scene in 2009 under Jurgen Klopp at the Westfalenstadion but after four great years and 83 games, in which he scored 22 goals, decided to move to bitter rivals Bayern Munich in a €37m deal, a decision that left a bad taste in the mouths of both Klopp and the Dortmund fans.
Gotze did well at Bayern, scoring 22 goals, the same number he bagged for Dortmund, but in fewer games (73). However, he never really fitted in at Bayern and after three years returned to Dortmund.
Gotze is only 26 years of age and is approaching his peak. If he can prove that his health problems are behind him, he still has much to offer. His vision is exceptional and he was on course to smash through 100 caps for Germany having already notched up 63.
If there is one flaw in the rumour linking Gotze with Spurs it is that he plays in almost the same position as Christian Ericksen. However, if parallel rumours of Eriksen moving to Barcelona hold any water, then it makes sense that Spurs would hedge their bets and look at attacking midfield alternatives.
The most problematic part of the rumour is the price-tag. £16m is a snip, as a healthy Mario Gotze in the prime of his playing career is worth easily north of £50m.