Back to the future is the order of the day for Mario Götze after the German international completed his move from Bayern München to Borussia Dortmund, becoming the Schwarzgelben’s seventh arrival of the summer.
Determined to be “a face at Bayern” when he joined the club in summer 2013, Götze did not quite live up to expectations, but at 24 he is eager for a fresh start with his first employers. “When I made the decision to leave for Bayern in 2013, it was a conscious one,” he said in an official statement. “Now I view it with different eyes. I wouldn’t make the decision for those reasons again.”
Now the attacking midfielder – who first joined the club’s youth department in 2001 – is determined to appease the Dortmund fans who felt betrayed by that move. “I want to try to win everyone over with good performances, especially those who are not welcoming me with open arms,” he said.
As UEFA.com discovers, he is not the only member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad looking to prove their worth in their second spell at Dortmund.
Born and bred in the city, Reus spent ten years in Dortmund’s youth setup, but it took a move to Ahlen as a teenager to find his feet. The winger helped the club to promotion to the German second tier before joining Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2009.
It cost Dortmund a reputed €17m to sign Reus three years later, and he helped steer them to the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League final. Thus far he has scored 76 goals in 165 competitive games for the club; but for persistent injuries – Reus was ruled out for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals and UEFA EURO 2016 – those totals would be higher.
Another local boy come good, Şahin became the Bundesliga’s youngest player and goalscorer at Dortmund, confirming his class in a 2007/08 loan spell at Feyenoord before returning home to help his club win the 2010/11 Bundesliga. However, a move to Real Madrid – and a subsequent loan spell at Liverpool – did not suit the Turkey midfielder, who rejoined Dortmund (initially on loan) in January 2013, saying: “I am so glad to be back home.” Injuries have plagued him a little since, but the 27-year old should be a key man in a rejigged Dortmund side this season.
A bargain buy from Cerezo Osaka in 2010, Kagawa was a creative inspiration under Jürgen Klopp, earning himself a switch to Manchester United in 2012. “I will carry this club, their great fans, and the whole city in my heart forever,” he said as he departed. He won the English title in his first, injury-troubled campaign at Old Trafford, but fared less well in his second, Sir Alex Ferguson having given way to David Moyes. He scored in his first Bundesliga game after re-signing for Dortmund in August 2014, sparking considerable excitement, with hope remaining that, at 27, he can reach his peak once more.