Robert Lewandowski is adamant Mario Gotze can still succeed at Bayern Munich and wants the Germany international to up his game in the remainder of the season.
Gotze has been struggling to become a regular starter at the Allianz Arena since joining Bayern from Borussia Dortmund in 2013 and has been heavily linked with a move elsewhere, with Dortmund and Liverpool believed to be keen to sign him.
Nevertheless, striker Lewandowski has told his team-mate to keep fighting and prove his critics wrong.
"Mario proved during the international break that he is always capable of showing what he can do and that he is a great player," Lewandowski told Focus.
"He should not be reading what people say about him in the papers. He does not need all the extra pressure. Mario knows how to deal with it, though. He is used to it. It is silly that there is so much talk about him.
"He is a Bayern player and he has plenty of games left until the end of the season to prove that he is good enough for Bayern. He has plenty of time to prove his critics wrong. He should stay at Bayern for a long time because he is a great player.
"His biggest strength is everything he does on the ball, his movement. The way he controls the ball, turns and then charges forward for example. That's his biggest strength.
"It is perfectly normal that a player needs a bit of time after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to injury. He can slowly get back to his best form. People will not even remember he did not play much in the first half of the season then."
The 23-year-old Gotze has a contract with Bayern until June 2017.
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