No Way Tottenham Gets Mario Götze…Right?

MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JULY 07: Mario Gotze of Germany during the UEFA Euro 2016 semi final match between Germany and France at Stade Velodrome on July 7, 2016 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JULY 07: Mario Gotze of Germany during the UEFA Euro 2016 semi final match between Germany and France at Stade Velodrome on July 7, 2016 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images) /

Rumblings on Friday seemed to suggest that Tottenham has found itself in the front of queue to sign Bayern Munich’s Mario Götze.

German sporting journal Bild was the first to break the story that the Germany international might be inclined to start looking at real estate in north London.

First, a disclaimer: this kind of thing — a world class player with oodles of experience picking Tottenham above virtually any other option — simply doesn’t happen. Tottenham’s status might have enjoyed a bump over the last year, but for the club to suddenly be in legitimate contention to sign a player like Götze seems, frankly, unlikely.

Then again, it’s also unlikely that Bayern would be so willing to part with Götze. Here is a young — still only 24 years old despite being a presence in world football for half a decade — and talented player, one who earned a £30 million pound move from Borussia Dortmund just three years ago. In the meantime, he’s helped Bayern win three consecutive Bundesliga titles and, oh yeah, scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final.

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Granted, he didn’t have the best 2015/16 season. First a pulled hamstring then a fractured rib kept him out of Pep Guardiola’s plans for all but 11 starts and three substitute appearances. With Bayern’s squad already crowded with talent and only one year left on Götze’s contract, it appeared as if the German behemoths are willing to part with their former wunderkind.

And so it would seem that Bayern’s garbage could be another club’s treasure. If they can afford him. Bild speculate that Götze won’t leave Bavaria for anything less than £20 million — a figure that doesn’t include what the player might demand in terms of salary.

Now, there are plenty of clubs out there looking for a Götze-type that could plop down such a sum without so much as a shrug. Among such clubs would, presumably, be Dortmund, where Götze first got his start. They have sold off enough of their talent to afford just about any player they want, and Götze would slot right back in to being a vital part of Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Or perhaps Götze might prefer to be reunited with his former mentor Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool. That seems a reasonable guess, until one takes into account the fact that Liverpool won’t even be able to offer either Champions League or Europa League football. That seems like a downgrade for a player who has spent virtually his entire career playing in the best competitions in Europe.

And so we come to Tottenham. An ascendant club who can offer Götze Champions League football as well as a realistic chance at Premier League glory. A club led by Mauricio Pochettino, one of the hottest commodities in European management. A club that already features such talent as Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld. Why wouldn’t any player in Götze’s position want to play for Tottenham?

A few reasons, it turns out. One successful season doesn’t grant Tottenham the right to have the same swagger as  Dortmund or even, with their long and storied history, Liverpool. Nor does it mean that playing alongside the likes of Dele Alli and Eric Dier bestows the same honor as playing alongside the likes of Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Furthermore, big clubs don’t experience the kind of collapse Tottenham did in the final month of last season. That run of poor form — capped with a devastating 5-1 loss to recently relegated Newcastle on the final day of the season — suggests that there is still much more to be done to make Tottenham a legitimate contender.

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Even down-on-their-luck players like Götze don’t need to take punts. They can and will hold out for surer bets than Tottenham.

That being said, Götze would absolutely be a welcome addition to Pochettino’s side. He is the type of player that could walk on the pitch as an every-match starter, perhaps even overtaking Érik Lamela as a member of the club’s best XI. No one should be getting their hopes up quite yet though.