Mario Gotze might not have played a single minute of competitive football this season, but he does not merit criticism from Lothar Matthaus, according to Hans-Joachim Watzke, Borussia Dortmund’s CEO.
Matthaus has come down hard on the player in recent days, indicating that if the player who scored the World Cup-winning goal in 2014 is to thrive once again, he will have to depart Dortmund.
The Germany icon says that level is currently “behind” the 26-year-old, who is “missing quality” and the opportunity to play in a position that he can thrive in.
Watzke, however, has taken exception to these comments.
“I know that Lothar Matthaus earns his money as a pundit and has to put forward provocative theories, but it would be nice, if one of the greatest players that Germany ever had, he could leave Mario alone and not trample on him,” the CEO said.
“Mario is doing the right things: he trains well, he does not let up, he gives to the team, he’s totally focused, he’s an important part of our squad and I’m sure he’ll play some great games for BVB this season.”
New head coach Lucien Favre has yet to use the playmaker, who was forced to watch in frustration as Dortmund beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 on Friday.
“I know for sure that the coach has a very high opinion of him and will use him, as he clearly said after the match,” Watzke confirmed.
Since moving back to BVB in 2016, Gotze has managed fewer than 50 appearances and has mustered only four goals in all competitions.