If you were ever looking for an example of expectation ruining a career, then Mario Götze is a player you would point at.
Götze was once the darling of German football, with many predicting the midfielder would become a superstar. Those expectations were only heightened when his goal in the 2014 World Cup final secured the crown for Germany.
His career has taken something of a nosedive since then, though, and Augsburger Allgemeine seem to believe the next step could see him land at Everton.
Götze is currently at Borussia Dortmund, having returned to the club from Bayern Munich in 2016, but his three years there have not been happy.
The one-time star has found himself increasingly on the sidelines and has only managed 37 minutes of football under Lucien Favre this season.
That’s down to the competition in the Dortmund squad, with Paco Alcácer, Julian Brandt, Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard and Jacob Bruun Larsen all ahead of him in the pecking order.
It’s a situation that has left Götze evaluating his options, with his contract at the German club expiring at the end of the season and the two parties yet to agree an extension.
The newspaper explains Götze would like to stay and Dortmund feel the same, but they do not want to keep him on his current high wages if he is only going to be a squad player.
Götze, on the other hand, doesn’t want to waste his ‘best football age‘ not playing regularly and that has left his career ‘coming to a crossroads’.
And, when discussing where Götze may end up next, Augsburger Allgemeine seem to believe that Everton is a potential destination.
They bring the Blues up as something of an example of how far Götze has fallen, stating that ‘he will not be able to choose his employer between Dortmund, Liverpool and Juventus’, which were his options when he was leaving Bayern three years ago, ‘but between Everton, Sevilla and Lazio Rome.’
That’s not definitively stating that Everton are interested, or have been in touch, although the implication is that they would be if he was available on a free transfer next summer.
It’s undoubtedly a signing that would fit into the Marcel Brands model, with the Dutchman having made a habit of signing experienced players alongside youngsters during his time at PSV Eindhoven.
Brands signed the likes of Wilfred Bouma, Mark Van Bommel, Ji-sung Park on free transfers during his time at the Dutch club and perhaps he’s viewing Götze, who is only 27, in the same light.