<
>

Joachim Low: Bayern Munich star Mario Gotze still key for Germany

Mario Gotze remains "incredibly important" to Germany despite his struggles at Bayern Munich, Joachim Low has said.

Gotze, 23, has fallen down the pecking order under Bayern coach Pep Guardiola and was linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena until he told the club he wanted to stay and fight for his place.

There have been concerns that, despite scoring the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder is failing to fulfil the potential he showed earlier in his career.

However, Germany boss Low said he still has full faith in Gotze ahead of the 2016 European Championship.

"He is an incredibly important player for me personally and the national team," Low said. "Every young player has to go through difficult spells. Mario has something special, and I believe that they also know that at Bayern."

Bayern sporting executive Matthias Sammer, who was filmed holding a deep discussion with Gotze during a public training session on Tuesday, said earlier this week that the player has the club's trust and added: "Now leave the lad alone for a while."

Meanwhile, Douglas Costa has told Sport Bild that he believes Bayern are the perfect club for him.

The Brazilian, 24, joined from Shakhtar Donetsk for €30 million and impressed in Bundesliga debut on Friday when he provided a goal and an assist in the 5-0 win over Hamburg.

"I don't like to lose. I want to win every match," he said. "That's the mentality of the club -- it just fits."

He added: "I will be able to learn a lot from Pep Guardiola."