Mario Götze: Is the struggling Bayern star looking for a new beginning?

After making the shock move from ️Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich for £37m, the 23 year old Germany international has been struggling to replicate his old, prodigious self.

The young exciting player, who had all eyes pierced at him from on-lookers and observers, failed to live up to that expectation at his new home. And recent rumors have linked him with moves to Juventus and Arsenal.


Struggles at Bayern

After scoring the whole important winner in the final of the 2014 World Cup against Argentina, few have thought that Götze’s season would turn out as bad as it did. He managed to score 15 goals in 48 appearances for Bayern Munich in all competitions last season, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Even though it may not seem a bad figure for an attacking midfielder, his form in the big games was below par.

He was also benched by his manager Pep Guardiola, even when players like Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery were injured. The most notable of such instances was him watching from the sidelines when his team bowed out of the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona. This raised the question of whether he was a part of Guardiola’s future plans for the squad.

Not only that, but he also came under a lot of criticism by the media and the fans because of his poor performances.


The signing of Douglas Costa

Another factor that poses a threat to Götze’s future at Bayern is the acquisition of Douglas Costa from Shaktar Dontesk. The versatile player is considered to be a long term replacement for the aging and injury prone Frank Ribery and it seems that the Brazilian is the most likely of the two to get the nod in the starting line up.

So the news of Götze being linked with different clubs doesn’t come as a surprise as he might be open for a fresh start. Juventus, who have lost their star man Arturo Vidal to Bayern, are leading the race to secure the service of the youngster.

Other than that he is also gaining interest from the English Premier League, with Arsenal being the most likely destination despite having many options in that position.



Written by Brook Genene

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Alexandre Lacazette: Arsenal and PSG-linked goal-getter set on staying with Lyon

Alexandre Lacazette has attracted a lot of attention this summer. Nothing else can be expected for a player who scored 31 goals in the previous season. Arsenal, Manchester United, PSG, Liverpool were said to be keen on the player with the Gunners seeming like they were leading the race for his signature at one time. However, it seems like the Frenchman will continue at Lyon.

Lyon coach Hubert Fournier said he saw Lacazette staying with the club, “He has said he wants to stay with us. Of course, some clubs are going to be attracted to the sort of player he is but he is under contract at Lyon and with all of the different competitions we have this season with the Champions League and the domestic French cups, we obviously want to keep him at the club.”

Lacazette is essentially a centre forward, but has also been deployed on the wings. He is a poacher or “a fox in the box”, and his finishing makes him a goal-scoring threat. He has scored a lot of impressive goals ranging from long shots to volleys.

The 24 year-old scored 15 league goals in the 2013/14 season and he seems to be improving constantly. This is important to mention because Lacazette’s name started doing rounds in every “best youngsters” list at a much younger age. After all, it was he who netted the game-winning goal in the 85th minute against Spain to clinch the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. But the striker has now established himself, and it can be said that he is a finished product.

Lyon’s chairman Jean Michel Aulas said earlier this year that Lacazette was better than Gareth Bale and was basically un-transferable. He said at a time, “What is the name of that Welshman at Real Madrid? [Lacazette] is much better than him. There is no point even discussing transfer fees.”

Many think the player is overrated. Maybe the comments of Lyon’s president and coach over the course of last four months make him sound way better than he actually is. However, it is completely justified for a team - which came agonizingly close to the title last season - to do anything to keep the many suitors away from their most prized asset. Then of course, how over-rated can a player who scored 27 league goals last season be? And saying “it’s the weak French league” will be a sorry excuse.

Lyon don’t want to sell Lacazette for more than one reason and it is not difficult to figure out why the club values the striker so highly. It’s not just the goals. Lacazette has a big symbolic significance to the club. They don’t want another case of Karim Benzema, who was sold to Real Madrid for £30m back in 2009.

Benzema has been the biggest academy graduate for the French side and his sale still brings unwelcoming memories for the management and the fans. Lacazette is just like that for the club.

It is imperative for them that he stays, and by the looks of it, he might just be.


Written by Aakriti Mehrotra

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Nani at Fenerbahce: The Pressure of Succeeding Cristiano is Finally Off

He was dubbed to become the next Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford but history shows that the closest Luis Nani ever got to become a Manchester United legend, was a handful of spectacular goals.

There was never any doubt that Nani had talent – which is why Sir Alex Ferguson paid big money to get him from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester back in 2007. Some may suggest the pressure and comparisons to Ronaldo got the better of him, others question his hunger.

In his interviews with English press he always said the right things. His words were those of ambition and desire, though his delivery did not fool anyone. He never came across as one to truly believe in himself.

Whether that was down to not quite settling in right or just being a shy person in front of the cameras is hard to tell, but something was not right.


Highs and lows at United

Nani’s highs were few and far between but when he was really on fire he was unplayable. His main cause of trouble was his inconsistency. Apart from a few decent spells in early 2010 and during the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons, he was mostly frustrating the home fans at Old Trafford with his poor displays.

By the time Ferguson put together what turned out to be his last title winning team, Nani was only playing a secondary role starting seven Premier League matches. Eyebrows were unsurprisingly raised when David Moyes, Fergie’s successor, then chose to offer him a new 5-year-deal with a solid pay rise the following season.

Despite the new contract and trust shown in him by Moyes, injuries and poor performances denied him more than seven starts and four substitute appearances in 2013/14, too.

As Louis van Gaal arrived in Manchester, Nani was destined to move on. Sporting Lisbon was the natural choice, and United even paid most of his wages during the season-long loan.


Fenerbahce to the rescue

Fenerbahce then came to Nani’s rescue. He was never going to play under van Gaal anyway and the Old Trafford hierarchy wanted to get rid of him so badly they let him go on the cheap, only recovering about £4 million from the about £17 million they paid eight years ago.

However the move could not come at a better time for Nani, and Fenerbahce seems a logical and right move for him. Although the Turkish crowds can be intimidating, he seems to have the fans on his side from the get-go.

He will play regular football in a less competitive league. Perhaps, he can now live up to some of the potential we all know he had when he arrived in Manchester in eight years ago.


Written by Lars H. Thomesen

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