Mario: “Reus and I can replace Kagawa at Borussia Dortmund”

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The 20-year-old believes he has what it takes to ease the pain of the playmaker’s Old Trafford exit, and also highlighted the threat that BVB’s new arrival can offer

Mario Gotze has claimed that he and Marco Reus are capable of replacing Shinji Kagawa at the head of the Borussia Dortmund midfield, after the Japan international’s summer move to Manchester United.

The Asian superstar moved to Old Trafford in a transfer worth up to 22 million euros, but Gotze has hit back at critics claiming his departure will weaken BVB’s chances of retaining the title for a second successive year.

“There is no question that he [Kagawa] is a really good player,” the 20-year-old told German newspaper Bild. “But I believe that we, as a team, have the players to compensate for his departure.

“It is true that I personally prefer to play as a No.10, because I’ve played there in my youth, but we have Marco Reus and other really good players that can play in that position.”

Gotze is also supremely confident that new arrival Reus, who joined from Borussia Monchengladbach this summer, can be a big hit at Signal Iduna Park.

“Marco is already a world-class player with incredible skills,” he continued. “Therefore, I am even more pleased that he is here. You can see in every training session that he fits in and brings high quality.

“He is a very quiet, very modest guy. When we were with the national team we spent every day together. Now he lives in Dortmund, and it’s really good for me; we are really close friends.”

The youngster then reflected on the injury problems that plagued his 2011-12 campaign, and claimed that his prolonged spell on the sidelines taught him many things.

“I learned a lot in terms of my body,” he said. “How my body reacts when I’m at my weakest and what to look out for. The new season starts at zero for me. These things are in the past, and have actually turned out to be a very instructive time.” (goal.com)

Gotze gets the nubmer 10

The playmaker, who had to be content with a place on the bench for die Mannschaft at Euro 2012 this summer, will wear the famous jersey for the new Bundesliga campaign

Mario Gotze has been handed the No.10 shirt by Borussia Dortmund, sporting director Michael Zorc has revealed.

The Germany playmaker, who made just an 11-minute cameo for his country at Euro 2012, has been rewarded for his club form by the Bundesliga champions, despite an injury-hit 2011-12 campaign.

“Mario has earned the 10 [shirt],” Zorc declared.

Gotze spoke of his pride at changing from No.11, and revealed that he had played with the coveted playmaker’s number on his back throughout his childhood.

“In my youth I’ve played only with it [the number 10 shirt]. And now being able to play with it in the Bundesliga, it’s amazing,” he told Bild.

And the 20-year-old is keen to live up to the standards of former incumbents Tomas Rosicky and Andreas Moller.

“Clearly this is a special number, but for me it does not carry any load. I see the 10 rather as an additional stimulus,” he concluded. (goal.com)