Germany head coach Joachim Low believes Mario Gotze has gone a long way towards silencing his critics following his recent performances for Bayern Munich.
The 23-year-old has scored four times in all competitions this term so far and bagged a goal and an assist in the 5-1 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund last weekend.
Gotze has come in for significant criticism during his career with Bayern to date but Low is confident he is beginning to prove his talents.
“Gotze has shown the quality he has in recent weeks,” Low said ahead of Germany’s Euro 2016 qualifier with the Republic of Ireland. “He had a few problems for a while with Bayern, but clubs like that, or Barcelona, Real Madrid, have 17 or 18 world-class players. And I know Pep Guardiola likes to use rotation to rest his players.
“I’ve always said there’s no doubt about Gotze for me, because he is very versatile.”
Mats Hummels was publicly critical of Dortmund’s performance in the defeat to Bayern but Low is adamant the comments will have no impact on the unity within the Germany camp.
“Hummels was not an issue,” he said. “I read what he said and he did not criticise single players. There were things which were talked about before and which were not executed on the pitch. And I think a captain has the right to express his disappointment and criticise things publicly.”
Looking ahead to Thursday’s game in Dublin, Low continued: “We expect a team that’s very good defensively. We appreciate that the Irish will be physically stronger than Scotland. They’ll be a very difficult opponent.
“They can make it hard on their opponents and they know how to defend between the spaces. It’s still in their own hands to qualify directly. We know their mentality, they fight until the very last minute.
“We must impose our own philosophy, then we’ll win. We need to find solutions. We have to play to our strengths. I’m not going to make many changes.
“It’s a bit unusual as most of our players were still playing last Sunday. One group has trained while the other recovers, so we’ve only had one training session. We need to take this into account but we’re convinced we’ll show a good performance.”
Former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is widely tipped to take the manager’s job at Liverpool this week and Low has backed the 48-year-old as the right choice.
He added: “I don’t know the state of negotiations. Jurgen Klopp was very successful at Dortmund and aroused plenty of emotion. There are many parallels between Liverpool and Dortmund, so I can imagine he can bring Liverpool forward.”