Eintracht Frankfurt’s headline summer signing Mario Götze says he wants to be “the final piece of the jigsaw” in the team after taking part in his first training session at the club.
The 30-year-old was put through his paces in an Eagles shirt for the first time on 28 June as head coach Oliver Glasner began to whip his charges into shape for the new 2022/23 season.
“A lot of factors played a role in the transfer – the club, the passionate fans, Deutsche Bank Park, the Bundesliga and the talks with the people in charge, Markus Krösche and Oliver Glasner,” he said.
“The development over the past few years says a lot about the top-class character of the club and the team. For me it’s been impressive to see how Frankfurt have developed. And winning the Europa League was a great achievement, absolutely fantastic.”
Now that he’s had a first feel for the ball in Frankfurt, though, the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner is eager to push on: “For me, it's important to get familiar with things here and to know where the coach sees my strengths. I want to integrate quickly and help further.
“The first training session went very, very well. The conditions were great – nice weather, the training ground was good and the fans were there. I’m very happy and am now looking forward to making Frankfurt the focal point in my life.”
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Götze has spent the past two seasons with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, having previously been at Borussia Dortmund (twice) and Bayern Munich. In the Eredivisie the attacking midfield worked under former Bayer Leverkusen head coach Roger Schmidt, who helped him progress in the areas of working against the ball.
Now well accustomed to aggressive pressing, Götze should seamlessly slip into Frankfurt’s system, where he will vie with Daichi Kamada and Jesper Lindstrom for a place in the side.
“I see my strengths in the final third, finding and creating gaps against compact defences,” Götze continued. “I want to be the final piece of the jigsaw that the team has been missing.”
Not only that, but having been in the professional game for the past 13 years, the new Frankfurt No.27 is eager to do his part for the next generation of players coming through. “I’m a fan of leading by example on the pitch, carrying the younger players along and helping out with my experience.”
There will be a sense of coming full circle for Götze in Eintracht’s first Bundesliga game of the season: the Eagles welcome Bayern to Deutsche Bank Park on 5 August on Matchday 1 – his last match in Germany’s top flight was also against his former employers on Matchday 28 of the 2019/20 campaign.
“It will obviously be very special to play against Bayern and Dortmund,” he said. “And to start the season off at home to Bayern – I’m looking forward to it.”
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