Getting carried away by talk of a transfer to Arsenal

Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund)

There was never anything in it, even if Arsenal were to be armed with £70 million going into this summer’s transfer window. Mario Gotze to Arsenal is too much talk and a little too much excitement over nothing.

I have no doubt that Arsene Wenger is interested in the player; at this point, who wouldn’t be interested in the best young player in Europe? It would have been a signing of remarkable intent, probably equalling the impact Dennis Bergkamp had on the club when he arrived from Inter Milan. But the continued talk and desire to overindulge in this story probably says more about those who are peddling it rather than the club who are said to be preparing a bid.

Arsenal will go into the market this summer and they could very well make aggressive moves towards the Bundesliga. Yet isn’t it wrong to assume that a player like Mario Gotze would be willing to trade the current German champions and Champions League semi-finalists for anyone bar one or two, and specifically anyone in England?

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It’s more glorification of the Premier League over anything else, without any awareness of whether it makes sense or not.

Borussia Dortmund could part with another important player this summer, with plenty of rumours emerging that Robert Lewandowski could start next season at the Allianz Arena. But then what? Mats Hummels is on the shopping list of Barcelona; well of course, because who wouldn’t want one of Europe’s best centre-backs in their team? Importantly, there isn’t a sense that Hummels is pushing for a move out the door. So with that, where do we stand with Gotze?

Borussia Dortmund will only sell when they have to, for example Lewandowski this summer. It was the same case with Nuri Sahin when he was sold to Real Madrid, and exactly the same situation as last summer when Shinji Kagawa moved to Manchester United. Financially, there is no pressing need to tear up one of football’s most captivating young teams. It’s a club who are continuing on a very promising and rapid ascent in the game and who could conquer Europe at any moment. And what do they do when a big player moves on? They replace with equal or better quality. No one can remember Lucas Barrios and what he did in Dortmund’s first of back-to-back title-winning seasons.

And then there’s the Arsenal approach. It might have made a little more sense to talk up Gotze to Real Madrid; in fact, there was a little more ground for reasoning (though not much) to assume the player could join up with Pep Guardiola at Bayern. But Arsenal? The team who in 2013 play in one of the world’s best football stadiums, are marketed as one of the most important clubs in England, who are said to be among the most valuable sports teams, and yet who haven’t come close to cracking the £20 million figure in transfer fees? There’s very little sense coming from a whole lot of talk.

What also seems to be forgotten is Wenger’s long-term stance that he doesn’t want to disrupt the development of his younger players, even if it ironically means buying another young player. Again, I have no doubt that Wenger is a fan of Gotze, with rumours suggesting that a bid was placed following Cesc Fabregas’ sale. However, numbers, history, the ‘selling’ club, and anything else you want to throw in there just do not make sense.

It’s been said that Dortmund are supremely confident of retaining Gotze for the foreseeable future; the player’s admission that he’d like to play abroad is surely the diplomatic approach for when the time is right.

The cynics among football fans would jump on the story that Dortmund are reportedly preparing a move for Chelsea’s Kevin de Bruyne, wanting to making a permanent transfer for the player who’s currently on loan at Werder Bremen. Surely that means Gotze is on his way? The realists, however, would praise a very good team for wanting to become even better. It’s the level of ambition that ironically most Arsenal fans would want their team to take on. Not replacements but genuine strength in depth.

As the youth product that’s risen to superstardom, why wouldn’t Mario Gotze want to be the brightest in a galaxy of stars at Signal Iduna Park?

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