Robert Lewandowski has now challenged Mario Gotze to first prove his worth to Bayern Munich.
Gotze has somewhat struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular at Bayern Munich since joining from Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund back in 2013 and has played only 13 matches this season for Pep Guardiola’s team.
Over the past few months reports continuously suggesting, Liverpool are keen to make a summer move for Gotze, a deal which would see the 23-year-old reunited with former Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.
But after watching Gotze impress for Germany during the recent international break, Lewandowski has challenged his Bayern team-mate to bring in that form onto the domestic level.
“Mario proved during the international break that he is always capable of showing what he can do and that he is a great player,” Lewandowski told Focus.
“He should not be reading what people say about him in the papers. He does not need all the extra pressure. Mario knows how to deal with it, though. He is used to it. It is silly that there is so much talk about him.
“He is a Bayern player and he has plenty of games left until the end of the season to prove that he is good enough for Bayern. He has plenty of time to prove his critics wrong. He should stay at Bayern for a long time because he is a great player.
“His biggest strength is everything he does on the ball, his movement. The way he controls the ball turns and then charges forward for example. That’s his biggest strength.
“It is perfectly normal that a player needs a bit of time after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to injury. He can slowly get back to his best form. People will not even remember he did not play much in the first half of the season then.”
The 23-year-old has previously worked with Klopp during the pair’s time together at Borussia Dortmund, winning Bundesliga titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
Under the current Liverpool manager, that time Gotze undoubtedly enjoyed the best football of his career so far, and but struggled since moving to Bayern Munich.
However, some reports claim Bayern would want a transfer fee of around £30 million – a figure which would rank Gotze as the third-most expensive player in Liverpool’s history.
The enigmatic playmaker’s lack of form this season hasn’t been helped by injury, with Gotze having featured in only eight Bundesliga games. He has scored one goal across those fixtures, whilst picking up a respectable tally of three assists.
In his most recent outing – a 5-0 victory over Werder Bremen – Gotze made five touches in the opposition 18-yard box and fired two shots on target.
Meanwhile, German outlet TZ claimed Liverpool’s potential summer move to reunite Mario Gotze with his former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp could be in jeopardy as Arsenal have joined the race to sign him.
Arsene Wenger thinks Gotze is capable of filling several roles in his squad that are already being underperformed by the likes of Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud and Wenger feels he misses a killer striker in the squad.