"You, me and Thorgan are going have some serious fun this season!" Borussia Dortmund's Mario Götze (r.) is delighted to be able to call Julian Brandt (l.) and Thorgan Hazard teammates. - © imago images / DeFodi
"You, me and Thorgan are going have some serious fun this season!" Borussia Dortmund's Mario Götze (r.) is delighted to be able to call Julian Brandt (l.) and Thorgan Hazard teammates. - © imago images / DeFodi
bundesliga

Mario Götze: "Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard great signings for Borussia Dortmund"

Mario Götze believes the signings of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard can help take Borussia Dortmund up a level in their pursuit of a first Bundesliga title since 2012.

Dortmund finished runners-up to Bayern Munich in last season's Bundesliga, despite at one stage holding a nine-point lead over their rivals.

In preparation for a renewed title push in 2019/20, BVB have already brought in a number of new faces, including Brandt and Hazard.

"I think Julian Brandt is very, very good, I got to know him with Germany and I think he'll take us to an even higher level, especially considering his performances lat season" Götze told spox.com.

"He can play out wide and in the middle. It's a great transfer for us."

Brandt was one of the driving forces behind Bayer Leverkusen's successful bid to qualify for the UEFA Champions League in 2018/19, providing seven goals and no fewer than 11 assists during a standout campaign.

But for the 23-year-old midfielder's telling contribution, a Borussia Mönchengladbach side spearheaded by Hazard may very well have pipped their regional rivals to a top-four finish.

As it was, Hazard's final act in a Gladbach shirt - 10 goals and 10 assists in 33 Bundesliga appearances - was only enough to take the Foals into the UEFA Europa League.

"Hazard has performed very well for Gladbach and Belgium," Götze said of his new teammate.

"As I said, I think it's great if we bring in new players and the competition is there to help take us to the next level.

"It'll definitely help us be a better team and more successful. It raises the quality in training, too."

Watch: All 20 of Thorgan Hazard's Bundesliga goals and assists in 2018/19

Dortmund's new arrivals open up all manner of attacking possibilities for coach Lucien Favre - potentially at Götze's expense.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner, however, says versatility is a must in modern-day football and part of what makes him stand out as a player.

"It's important to have a certain level of flexibility," explained Götze, who readily switches between midfield and false No.9 roles under Favre.

"Nowadays, more and more systems are being used. There's no harm whatsoever in being versatile. It's one of my strengths.

"I like competition and having more quality players in the side, anyway.

"It's healthy competition, and it'll hopefully give us that extra push in the Bundesliga and take us further in the Champions League."

Götze made 19 Bundesliga starts in 2018/19: four in attacking midfield, and 15 as the lone striker. - 2019 DFL

A somewhat new-look Dortmund have been in flying form in pre-season, recording six wins from as many games.

Götze featured in all six, scoring a penalty in the 4-1 win over Italy's Udinese, after rediscovering some of his best form last term.

The 27-year-old overcame various health set-backs to play in 26 of Dortmund's 34 league games in 2018/19, registering seven goals and as many assists, and is hopeful his good run can continue.

"I hardly played at the beginning of last season, but now I'm optimistic," Götze said.

"I want to continue playing at this level, and the coach and players have made a really positive impression in pre-season. I'm looking forward to the new campaign!"

Dortmund kick off the 2019/20 season against Götze's former club, Bayern, in the DFL Supercup on 3 August.