Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre has warned Mario Gotze that he faces a fight to earn a place in his team
The German midfielder has not featured in either of Dortmund’s opening two Bundesliga games.
Gotze last played for Dortmund in last month’s DFB-Pokal win over Greuther Furth last month.
Head coach Favre opted for a 4-3-3 formation in the club’s two Bundesliga matches with Mahmoud Dahoud, Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney all being selected ahead of Gotze in the heart of the midfield.
And Favre admits that Gotze will struggle to insert himself into the team given his current midfield options.
“I think it depends on our system,” he told a news conference on Sport1.
“I said that it would take time for us to find our best team and our best system. There are a lot of tactical decisions to be made.
“We have to tell the truth. Mario can play in a central position. He can play in our 4-3-3 system. You have to play athletically and with a lot of dedication.
“Against Leipzig and Hannover, we played with three players in central midfield. Mario can play in one of those positions, but we have many players that can play there.
“We have eight or nine players there, and we have [Shinji] Kagawa and Marco Reus and Mario. There are many players. It’s a fact.”
Due to fitness problems, Gotze has made just 28 league starts for Dortmund since his return from Bayern Munich in 2016.
The 2010 World Cup winner will hope to make his first Bundesliga appearance of the 2018/19 campaign on Friday with Dortmund hosting Eintracht Frankfurt.