With injuries mounting up at Borussia Dortmund, the return to first-team action of US attacking midfielder Giovanni Reyna is proving quite the tonic for Edin Terzic. An excellent display in the Champions League win over FC Copenhagen has everyone at the club buzzing that the hugely talented American youngster may be about to end his personal injury nightmare.
The return of the ‘American Dream’
The 19-year-old was limited to just 10 Bundesliga appearances last season (five starts) due to a series of muscle/ hamstring injuries. New BVB coach Edin Terzic wanted to be cautious about getting him back into first-team action this season and has made sure the timing was right. “Gio was out for a long time” Terzic explained at the club’s pre-season training camp. “He’s a young guy who has had to deal with a huge number of setbacks in the last 12 months.
“We want to make sure that he doesn’t suffer another setback now, that he regains confidence in himself and his body, and that he has fun playing football again. That’s why we prefer to take a more cautious approach – because it’s about him staying with us for a very, very long time.”
The long-awaited return arrived with a 30-minute substitute appearance against Werder Bremen and a short cameo against Hoffenheim. His full return to the limelight and showing just what he is capable of came in midweek when he was called upon during Dortmund’s Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen at the Signal Iduna Park. With Thorgan Hazard having to go off injured, Reyna was introduced in the 23rd minute and played a blinder.
After Marco Reus’ opener, it was Reyna who provided the assist for Raphael Guerrero, and he repeated the feat seven minutes from time with the final pass in a flowing move for Jude Bellingham to fire home. Marco Reus for one was impressed with the display saying: “Gio produced a sublime performance with two assists. He gives us more flexibility.
That flexibility will be really required in the coming weeks as Dortmund face a gruelling set of fixtures just at the time when their injury list is growing longer. They face ex-coach Marco Rose at RB Leipzig this weekend followed by Manchester City in the Champions League. The Revierderby with Schalke is next with a double header against Sevilla sandwiching a home clash with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund is currently in amongst the top teams in the league with twelve points from five games, but there is a sense that BVB have struggled to create chances and score goals in the early part of the season. Reyna’s ability to unlock defences, his eye for a pass and his raw energy will come as a most welcome bonus to Edin Terzic just when he needs it. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens is probably out for a few months as he requires shoulder surgery, Donyell Malen and Karim Adeyemi have struggled this season with injuries and Thorgan Hazard was forced off against Copenhagen.