PSV legend Rene Van der Gijp believes Mario Gotze ‘would never have played’ if he’d sealed a dream move to Premier League giants Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, speaking to Today Inside.
In an interview with the Daily Mail last week, former Borussia Dortmund wunderkind Gotze admitted that he ‘should have’ seized the opportunity to reunite with his former Signal Iduna Park boss when leaving Bayern Munich in the summer of 2016.
According to The Guardian, Liverpool were confident of sealing a deal for the World Cup winner at the time. But the chance to return to where it all began proved an opportunity too good to turn down.
Gotze completed a £21 million return to the club where he made his name just three weeks after Liverpool appeared to be closing in on the German international’s signature.
Now, they do say you should ‘never go back’.
And one suspects that Gotze would agree rather wistfully with that tired old-cliché, his Dortmund sequel proving to be as underwhelming and dissatisfying as Tom Cruise’s 1997 Speed 2.
That movie’s tagline – ‘Cruise Control’ – tells you all you need to know, in all honesty.
Should Mario Gotze have joined Liverpool in 2016?
Gotze has rebuilt his reputation to some extent in the Netherlands, albeit without every truly dominating a league which, in terms of quality and resources, probably has more in common with League One than the Premier League.
“I really thought he had a very good picture of himself,” says Van der Gijp, a two-time Eredivisie champion with PSV in the 1980s.
“He thinks: ‘I’m going to play in the Netherlands, I’m only seventy percent fit. And then I’ll make it, against the NECs of this world.’
“But recently I heard that he would have preferred Liverpool. Then I think: ‘God damn it, you would never have played there, man!’
“With Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane? I think: ‘Jesus man, how can you say that (you would have liked to join Liverpool)?’”
Van der Gijp has a point.
If the likes of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are not even guaranteed a starting berth under Klopp, what chance would Gotze have?