Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Mario Gotze has acknowledged he will never again be the player he was when he first rose to prominence.
The 24-year-old earned himself a transfer to Bayern Munich in 2013 following a number of impressive seasons at Dortmund, but returned to Signal Iduna Park during the close season after an underwhelming spell with the Bundesliga champions.
However, he has yet to recapture the form that saw him catch the eye in the early stages of his career.
That said, Gotze feels people should realise that he has become a different player.
“Should I get back to playing like the 18-year-old Mario Gotze again?,” Gotze asked Bild.
“I have played almost 60 games for Germany since, have enjoyed six years of success at Bayern and Dortmund and won five Bundesliga titles. Those are the facts.
“Every player develops over time, as does every team and every opponent. I will never be the old Mario Gotze again.
“In football, it’s the here and now that really matters and I am feeling really well at the national team and Dortmund. I am able to put in my best performances again more and more. I am giving my all every day and every training session.
“Every chapter in life helps you move forward. I learned a lot in Munich. I played with world-class players, matured and learned from any setbacks.”
Gotze has netted once in 11 appearances in all competitions for Dortmund this term.