Where Does Mario Götze Fit at Liverpool?

The mercurial 23 year-old, immortalized for two brilliant touches on a muggy Brazilian night, has found himself on the outside looking in on an ever changing Bayern Munich side. Pep Guardiola's imminent departure to bluer pastures and the arrival of Champion's League chasing Carlo Ancelotti has cast a ray of uncertainty over the Bavarians.

Götze is without a doubt a premium talent across European football. Despite the nagging hamstring issues in Götze's third and most recent season in Munich, he's still shown flashes of his outstanding talent. In 12 appearances this year he has four goals and three assists and an excellent match rating of 7.30, including a terrific performance as a left winger against Wolfsburg and another on the right versus his former side, Dortmund. His versatility to move across the attacking space of Guardiola's ductile formation has aided him in his time under the Spaniard.



There is a common misconception that Götze has struggled to make an impact, or garner a foothold on the Bayern side. In his first season in 2013/14, he was one of their standout players, usually playing just behind Mandzukic, similar to how Müller and Lewandoski interact now. He made 20 starts and seven more appearances off the bench even though he missed nine games due to injury, and registered 10 goals and eight assists.

Götze's second season saw the beginning of a slip in form for Germany's newest hero. Guardiola used 10 different formations over the course of the season and Götze found himself on the left wing quite a bit due to the injuries of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. The amoeba like movement of the Bayern team stressed Götze's positioning, and at times introduced him into situations even the bravest of midfielder's wouldn't be comfortable in.

What seemed like a foolish waste of breath two years ago, is now being spoken with an air of sensibility. The return to fitness of Thiago Alcântara, arrival of Douglas Costa, Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman has all lead to the displacement of Götze. Combine that with injuries and a contract that expires in the summer of 2017 and his departure seems likely.

But where does the Memmingen born midfielder go next?

Where of course but back into the clutches of the man who gave him his debut and thrust him into footballing fame beyond his fondest dreams.

There's a 20£ million fee rumour going around, but surely many Liverpool supporters would see no problem spending nearly 30£ million on Götze. His signing would not be one of need, but of opportunity. It's not often a talent like this comes around for that price tag, and the connection with Jügren Klopp is hard to ignore. Liverpool have many more urgent and leaking holes in the side that another attacking midfielder who prefers to play centrally can't fix.

Positionally it's not clear where each player fits under Klopp's system, but what has become crystal is the German loves to deploy width, and particularly dynamic wingers. Liverpool already lack severely in this category, but the play of Philipe Coutinho and Adam Lallana in wide roles has helped. Pair that with return of Lazar Marković and perhaps the introduction of Kevin Volland, and LFC's wing positions will be nursed.



Who would Götze knock from the starting 11? Most likely Adam Lallana, who's been one of the players to see a massive upswing under Klopp. It's hard to imagine a lineup that, when healthy, features Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino, Götze and another attacking player. Klopp's system simply doesn't play enough total football to feature just one box-to-box or defensive midfielder. There are plenty of question marks regarding the midfield but it's going to need to feature two players of the same elk as Jordan Henderson and Emre Can.

The 4-4-1-1 and 4-2-3-1 are the best suited formations for Klopp's aggressive, pressing style while allowing width for quick attacks. The two styles aren't all that different on the outside, but offer changed roles inside each game.

Götze's arrival on Merseyside would put into question the starting roles of Lallana and James Milner. The need to include another talented attacking midfielder would ensure Coutinho stays out wide or Firmino loses his pivotal place behind the striker. Another option that has been entertained is Firmino playing as a centre forward, which has bore fruit this season with the Brazilian scoring six goals and adding five assists in nine starts at the top of the Klopp's attack.

Even with the paucity of world class talent amongst the Liverpool squad, their is still an impressive amount of quality depth. Divock Origi and Danny Ings will offer diverse options at the spur of Liverpool's offense. Milner, Lallana and Markovic are players capable of playing anywhere from wing to midfield.

Götze doesn't solve the headaches revolving around the Liverpool side, but he does add a piece of quality that has been severely lacking since Luis Suárez departed. By no means is he a replacement, but it's that world-class, distinguished talent that helps players like Coutinho stay at the club. That should be one of Klopp's biggest goals, keeping one of the planet's budding stars. Make no mistake, Coutinho is destine for greatness, and as Andrés Iniesta reaches the end of the road in Barcelona, Coutinho's magnetism to Catalonia will only continue to grow.

Ian Ayre, Želkjo Buvač and Klopp will all have to decide whether the 20£ to 30£ million that Bayern will need for Götze will be worth it. That stack of cash could plug some of the gaps Liverpool have now, or add to a midfield that has lacked spine since Xabi Alonso and Javier Macherano departed. How much could Granit Xhaka do for a midfield that has consistently come up short in matches that hinder on the play in the middle of the park?

Götze is a name that makes perfect sense for Liverpool. The experience with Klopp, the youth, the price and of course the sublime technical skill. Unfortunately for the club, what has put them at the bottom of the mountain is a reckless transfer record. Liverpool can't afford to make many more 30£ million mistakes, Götze may not be the next one, but does the need outweigh the want?

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