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Mario Gotze to Bayern Munich: Pep Guardiola Has Found His False 9

MALAGA, SPAIN - APRIL 03:  Mario Gotze of Borussia Dortmund looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg match between Malaga CF and Borussia Dortmund at La Rosaleda Stadium on April 3, 2013 in Malaga, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images
Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterApril 29, 2013

German newspaper Bild broke the hearts of many when it announced that the transfer of Mario Goetze to Bayern Munich will take place on July 1.

The mercurial No. 10, who was born in the Memmingen area of Bavaria, looks set to be Pep Guardiola's marquee signing as he prepares to take the reins this summer.

The iconic Spanish manager achieved outrageous levels of success with Barcelona, winning 14 of a possible 16 trophies available to him during a four-year stint at the helm, and developed a very efficient and attractive footballing blueprint during his time in Catalonia.

On confirmation of his impending arrival in Munich, it was heavily debated as to whether Guardiola would seek to implement it on his second managerial voyage.

We speak, of course, about tiki-taka football.

Pass and move, sublime first touches and long spells of possession have become synonymous with Barcelona thanks to their former midfield legend, and the signing of Goetze suggests those footballing principles will be installed at the Allianz Arena.

There was no guarantee Guardiola would copy his old formula for success upon taking the job initially, and Bayern's unbelievable dominance using a more direct method this season was a major argument against making wholesale changes.

But Guardiola's greatest success was the manipulation of the false-nine position Lionel Messi dominates for els Blaugrana, and now, he's sanctioned the purchase of a man who's nickname is "the German Messi"—even if the player would prefer to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Goetze looks set to play in that role for Bayern next season after Joachim Loew took the gamble and used him there for the German national team, and bar the raw top-end speed Messi has, Goetze boasts a lot of similarities.

This will be a bitter pill to swallow for Mario Mandzukic, who now looks like he'll be playing second fiddle in the 2013-14 season. Mario Gomez's Bayern career teeters on the brink, as does Arjen Robben's despite his scintillating performance against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.

Toni Kroos will be able to find a home in a three at central midfield, while Javi Martinez is every bit the biter, snapper and interceptor Sergio Busquets is.

Thomas Muller is versatile and can fit anywhere, but his modesty, passion and work rate draw favourable comparisons to Guardiola's use of Pedro on the wing.

The signing of Goetze ended the debate surrounding whether or not Guardiola would install tiki-taka at Bayern, but it's opened up an entirely new and infinitely more interesting one.

Is that a good thing for this outstanding Bayern side?

 

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