Last season Mario Gotze established himself as one of the best young players in Europe with his exploits with Borussia Dortmund.
Then 20, the Germany international’s performances both in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League earned such rave reviews that Bayern Munich swooped in and agreed to sign him back in April. The German giants triggered his €37 million (£30.4 million) release cause and recruited one of the most gifted playmakers in Europe.
However, Gotze has struggled to get regular playing time under coach Pep Guardiola this campaign, thanks to injuries he suffered in the first half of the season and to fierce competition for places at the Allianz Arena.
So strong and deep is Bayern’s squad at the moment that even established star forward Thomas Muller is not guaranteed a place in the first XI. Gotze has made just 20 starts in the Bundesliga and six in the Champions League in 2013-14.
The youngster has now admitted that he is not happy with his current situation, but he is quick to claim that he is determined to earn his place in the starting lineup.
‘Of course I am not happy’, he told Bild. ‘But I will continue to work hard and fight for a place in the first XI. I hope I am able to regain the trust of the manager and play regularly from the start’.
Gotze’s first season at Bayern was always going to be tough, and given how strong the competition is just to be part of the matchday squad, the German youngster need not be too hard on himself.
He is working under a coach who has helped Lionel Messi become the best player in the world. If Gotze has patience and follows the Catalan’s instructions, then he will eventually fulfil his potential.