Gio Reyna is free from injury again at Borussia Dortmund, with the United States international being tipped to be “like a new signing” for the Bundesliga outfit as he prepares to step back into the fold.
The highly-rated 19-year-old midfielder has been out of action since picking up a hamstring problem while away with his country on World Cup qualifying duty in September 2021. Reyna has thought to be close to returning on a number of occasions, only to suffer setbacks.
He has sat out 25 games for BVB, as they look to keep themselves in the hunt for major silverware, but is back in full training and could make a welcome return to action in a home date with Bayer Leverkusen on February 6.
What was said about Reyna?
With Reyna coming back into contention for Marco Rose’s side, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc told Ruhr Nachrichten of the impact the talented teenager could make: “Gio is almost like a new signing for the second half of the season.
“He had an excellent start to the season in the summer and unfortunately we missed him for a long time. We hope that he now tolerates the strain in training well.”
In the video posted by Dortmund on its English-language Twitter account, Reyna could be seen partaking in full team training, even at one point taking Mats Hummels to school in one-on-one drills.
Reyna was not included on the United States roster for the January international break as he ramps back up his fitness from the long-term injury. The team has many first-choice players still with the club despite the pause in action, as UEFA does not have any scheduled matches this international window, allowing many European players to stay with their clubs and rest.
What position will Gio Reyna play?
Dortmund have fared admirably in Reyna’s absence, although they did slip out of the Champions League at the group stage and sit six points adrift of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race.
The USMNT star will be eager to make an immediate impact upon his return, having registered two goals through five appearances earlier in the campaign.
Rose must now decide where best to utilise the youngster’s obvious ability, with Zorc expecting Reyna to fill a playmaking post.
He added on where the creative influence will fit into the Dortmund side: “In 4-3-3 he has already played very well. He can help us in midfield as an eight and also on the wing, although he’s not a classic winger and tends to move into the centre from there.
“He is characterised by his very fine sense of which spaces he has to move into and where he can turn up between the opposing lines. The further up the field he plays, the more dangerous he becomes.”
In Reyna’s absence, it’s been Thorgan Hazard and summer signing Donyell Malen on the left wing opposite captain Marco Reus, while Julian Brandt and Jude Bellingham occupy the midfield pivot. Any of those players could see a reduction in playing time with Reyna’s return, although Reus and Bellingham appear the most secure of the group. Reyna played in midfield next to Bellingham in all three of his early-season Bundesliga starts prior to his injury.