It’s not often you get the chance to sign a World Cup winner, let alone the man who actually scored the winning goal in a the final itself. But, as is being reported, that is exactly what Liverpool may have the option of doing with Mario Götze, for a relatively modest £20m, too.
With the Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp having guided the 23-year-old German international’s early progress whilst at Borussia Dortmund, the link is naturally being made that the pair could be reunited. The current Bayern Munich player approaching the last year of his contract at the Allianz Arena and seemingly out of favour under Pep Guardiola, while his future under incoming boss, Carlo Ancelotti, remains unknown.
Indeed, just 12 appearances in all competitions this season seem to suggest that he is not part of the plans of the Bavarian giants, going forward a factor helping to fan the flames of a potential move away from the club. Injury has played it’s part in the lack of game-time for the talented attacking midfielder, however, so his quality or form is not really in question.
Therefore, you feel that Klopp and Liverpool would jump at the chance to sign a player of such status and should the World Cup winner indeed decide to move on in the summer, as seems likely, the Merseyside club will almost certainly push hard to acquire his services.
Adding quality to a squad is always a good idea and a desirable one for any club, particularly when the player is as young and talented as Götze. But, need is another thing and filling the right positions in line with the requirements of the squad is equally important. It’s all very well bringing in a horde of players of unquestionable ability, but if they all play in a similar position you could leave yourself short in others – arguably a problem Arsene Wenger has created at Arsenal, the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Özil and others brought in to play similar roles in the side to the detriment of player additions in the more defensive-minded positions.
And in this respect, Klopp could be falling into a similar trap as his more experienced Premier League counterpart. As, for all the quality, attacking-prowess and goalscoring ability Götze would bring to the side, Liverpool should surely look to more pressing-requirements in the holding-midfield role or centre-back positions.
Having forked out nearly £30m on Roberto Firmino just last summer, and with fellow talented Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho already on the club’s books – both similar players in similar positions to the German – you have to wonder do the Reds actually NEED Mario Götze? Over-crowding a position Klopp already has good options in could ultimately cause more of a headache than it cures, as selection dilemma’s and attempting to squeeze all the players into the same side are sure to present themselves in the future. But then again, the three of them together on the pitch could be unstoppable.
We don’t know exactly how the German boss will set his team up of course, but with the likely departure of Christian Benteke and given formations and tactics used this season, a fluid system with no main striker could be used should Götze end up at Anfield. This would then create it’s own questions around the role and future of Daniel Sturridge, not to mention other players like a returning Danny Ings or former Saints man, Adam Lallana.
Whilst a player of Götze’s undeniable talent would certainly add something, from the outside at least, it seems far more sensible to spend good money on a commanding central defender or a midfield enforcer – there are glaring deficiencies in these positions. Liverpool are certainly in a position to challenge for honours next season, or at the very least markedly improve on this season’s efforts and be ‘in the mix’.
They have the manager, the tradition and the basis of a good squad already in place, so it shouldn’t take too much more to turn them into a genuinely good side once again. But, in favouring romantic reunions over squad necessity, Klopp may well have overlooked the fundamentals of building a side capable of lifting the Premier League crown. He need only take a peek at the trophy cabinet down at the Emirates in recent memory for evidence of how style over necessity can hamper quests for glory.