Liverpool appear to be frontrunners in the race to sign Mario Gotze, who looks almost certain to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
Since his goal in the World Cup final, Gotze’s career has stagnated. Once thought of as the next big player to come out of the Bundesliga, Gotze has spent much of this season on the bench for Pep Guardiola’s table-toppers and he’s unlikely to stay at the club much longer and watch his career stand still.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been linked with the German for some time, but it is Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool who appear to be in the best position thanks to the players relationship with Klopp.
The 23-year-old played the best football of his career under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and there’s no doubt that the Liverpool manager will be desperate to bring him to the club as part of his summer restructuring at Anfield.
On the face of it Gotze would provide a marked improvement on the likes of Adam Lallana, but what do the stats look like? We take a look.
I decided to look at four areas to compare Gotze with Lallana and also Firmino – Liverpool’s standout performer in 2016. Due to Gotze’s severe lack of game time this season, I have used his stats from the 2014/15 campaign. Lallana is quite clearly behind both players, coming 3rd in three of the statistics and 2nd in the other two. Gotze’s take on rate catches the eye, managing over 3 on average each game. His assist rate is pretty low but his goal-scoring rate is not far behind Firmino and a lot better than Lallana’s. One of Lallana strengths is his passing (81% completed), but Gotze even manages to edge ahead of him in this department (86%).
You might not need to see stats to realise that Gotze would improve this Liverpool side, but they do help highlight the extent to which he would be an improvement on the likes of Lallana. It should also be noted that Gotze didn’t play his best football last season and his best statistics came under the management of Klopp.
For a fee of around £30million, considering his age and potential, Liverpool would be crazy not to go all out to try and finalise this deal. In Klopp they have a distinct advantage over the other interested English clubs and they must utilise that advantage.