Mario Gotze admits he should have joined Liverpool in 2016, in a transfer which would have seen him reunite with Jurgen Klopp.
Gotze had a successful spell with Borussia Dortmund up until 2013, helping the club to win two Bundesliga titles and one DFB-Pokal alongside manager Klopp. Like a few other Dortmund stars, he left when German rivals Bayern Munich came calling.
The Bavarians paid Dortmund £31.5million to take Gotze to the Allianz Arena. He went on to make 114 appearances for Bayern, lifting three more league titles and two more DFB-Pokals in the process.
The attacking midfielder opted to leave Bayern after three years. There were rumours of a reunion with Klopp, who had gone to Liverpool by that point.
However, the Reds were ultimately held back from the transfer by their poor season. They had come eighth in the Premier League and were not even going to feature in Europe the following campaign.
Dortmund, in contrast, had just come second in the league and reached the quarter-final of the Europa League. So Gotze went back to the Westfalenstadion.
But during an interview with German outlet SportBild, Gotze expressed regret about not linking up with Liverpool and playing under Klopp again.
“Liverpool had finished eighth in their first season with Jurgen and had not qualified for the Champions League,” the playmaker said (via Sport Witness).
Mario Gotze makes Liverpool admission
“Even in previous years, it wasn’t the club that always played at the top.
“Dortmund had previously played a top season under Thomas Tuchel. BVB was on the up. Jurgen was still building something.
“In retrospect you have to say, Liverpool would have been better.”
It would have been great to see Gotze play in the Premier League. He was a fantastic player in his prime and can still impact matches now, even if he is held back by a metabolic disorder.
Gotze would never work with Klopp again – following his second spell at Dortmund he went to PSV. On July 1, he returned to Germany by signing for Eintracht Frankfurt on a three-year contract.
Meanwhile, a Liverpool outcast could surprisingly remain at Anfield after making their pre-season training squad.