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Where Will This Bayern Munich Star Fit Into Klopp’s Liverpool Line Up

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mario gotze

At the age of 23, Mario Gotze has already seen plenty in his fledgling career.Lauded as the finest German talent of the Millennium, Gotze has five league titles to his name already and scored the winning goal for Die Mannschaft in their 2014 World Cup final win over Argentina.

The good and great of German football have taken turns to laud his talent, and the creative midfielder has, since his Bundesliga debut against Mainz in November 2009, been seen in his homeland as a future Ballon d’Or winner.

His growth on a personal level followed the upward trajectory of a young, daring Dortmund side, of which he became a key part. He emerged as a central hub of the side’s attack, devilish when transitioning from defence to attack, but also adept at unpicking locks against packed defences.

His progression to Bayern Munich in 2013 appeared to be the natural course of events taking shape. The personal honours looked sure to follow. However since moving to Bavaria, Mario Gotze’s club career has been on a downward spiral. The Germany international has gone from being the boy wonder at the Westfalenstadion to a bench-warmer at the Allianz Arena.

Aside from netting the winner in a World Cup final in 2014, the 23-year-old has had little to cheer about during his time in Munich.  However, the arrival of Ousmane Dembele at Dortmund has paved the way for a Premier League move for Gotze, with a reunion with former boss Jurgen Klopp looking increasingly likely.

With Christian Benteke very likely to leave in the summer following a disappointing spell with the Reds, a versatile midfielder with Bundesliga and World Cup winning pedigree in Mario Gotze for £20 million sounds like a bargain for Liverpool. With Gotze having all the qualities and experience of the high-pressing football Klopp has brought to Merseyside, his move to Liverpool could benefit both parties.

Gotze has been deployed in different positions within various formations at club and country level. Such versatility will come in handy for Liverpool, giving Klopp a number of formations to choose from. Here are three ways Klopp could use him if his former protégé arrives at Anfield.

Playing central

When Shinji Kagawa left Dortmund for Manchester United , Klopp shifted Gotze seemlessly from a position on the flank to a central role. Marco Reus was signed to play from the left, and Gotze was given a roving role from the No.10 position. His arrival would hand Klopp a further, enhanced option, for his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation at Anfield.

Shifting Firmino further forward

With Christian Benteke looking increasingly likely to leave this summer and Daniel Sturridge’s injury problems ongoing, some of Liverpool’s best performances this term have featured Roberto Firmino playing at the tip of their attack, most notably the 4-1 win at Manchester City. Increasingly, that position seems to be getting the best out of the Brazilian also. As such, shifting Firmino forwards and sliding Gotze alongside Coutinho in the 4-3-2-1 formation which Klopp has most notably used away from home is another option.

 Playing Gotze in the hole behind Sturridge and Origi/ Firmino in a diamond formation

 Sitting at the top of a midfield diamond, Gotze could be the fulcrum of Liverpool’s attack in a 4-4-2 formation that will see the German feeding the Reds’ front men, Sturridge, Divock Origi and  Firmino. Emre Can, Coutinho and Jordan Henderson will complete the midfield diamond in a formation that could take shape for the Reds upon the arrival of Gotze. The Bayern man will  add more unpredictability to a Liverpool attack likely to be based on high pressing, quick movement and constant inter-changing.

Something Guardiola experimented with in his debut season at Bayern, before Lewandowski’s arrival. Gotze didn’t look overly comfortable, but he has also become more reliable in the penalty area since, growing a poacher’s instincts and knowing when to take a shot.

Mario Gotze’s positional versatility will give Liverpool an impetus to go the distance to bring home their man as they look to build a squad worthy of mounting a title challenge next season.