There is no Dortmund player more desperate to win the Meisterschale than club captain Marco Reus, even though the Schwarzgelben seem to be doing their very best to afford doing just that. Missing the chance to close the gap on Bayern at the weekend was typical BVB, but Reus will not give up hope.
Even if they do fall short this season Reus will look to carry on next season at the age of 34. However, his contract with the club expires this summer and the question should be raised as to the wisdom of automatically extending his love affair with the club.
The sentimental argument says that the club captain, a tremendous servant and a firm favourite amongst the fans, should most definitely be retained next year even if his days as a guaranteed starter are over.
The more pragmatic and perhaps cold-hearted argument states that his diminishing impact on the field due to injuries mean that his best days are behind him and it’s time to refresh the BVB attacking department. The time comes for everyone to cut the ties that hold them dear to a club. A Bundesliga win this season would see his BVB crowned nicely, but that is far from a foregone conclusion.
Dortmund-born Reus joined the club as a seven-year-old and spent ten years in the youth ranks before starting out at Rot Weiss Ahlen and getting his big chance at Borussia Mönchengladbach. He joined his beloved Borussia Dortmund in 2012 and has since become the club’s second highest all-time goalscorer with 161 (at the time of writing) and gunning for the number one spot (Adi Preissler 177).
Reus’ current contract earns him a reported €12 million per year and that would drop down to an offer of €7 million in any new deal. However €7 million is still a substantial renumeration for a player plagued by injuries, which are only likely to get worse with age. This season has seen the attacker limited to just 14 starts due to a ruptured ankle ligament and then ensuing related issues.
With the issue up for discussion, Sportbild ran a poll this week asking BVB fans whether Reus should be retained and a surprisingly high 78% of the 34,400 participants said no.
Bundesliga legend Lothar Matthäus has also weighed in on the side of not renewing with Reus. “Reus isn’t getting any better either, the injuries will remain and of course he’s getting older. If you no longer trust Marco Reus one hundred percent, then you should find a reasonable solution that is good for both sides. Reus is no longer an untouchable regular player as a captain.”
Any new contract would be for one more year and be linked to performance targets, but the question is there to be asked whether Reus can still perform at the level Dortmund need. Sentiment and emotion mean an automatic extension, no questions asked. Pragmatism and realism mean that a very difficult decision may be required of the Dortmund bosses at the end of the season.