Borussia Dortmund are coming off an upset win in UEFA Champions League play over Paris Saint-Germain with Giovanni Reyna making a major impact in his tournament debut.
Reyna assisted on the eventual game-winning goal scored by Erling Haaland, earning his first UCL point. The 17-year-old American has continued to check off boxes for the Bundesliga side and very well could continue to earn first-team minutes due to both Marco Reus and Julian Brandt’s respective injuries. Teammate Jadon Sancho is a young talent of his own and reflected on Reyna’s short impact so far.
“I think Gio is a great player, I feel like he’s going to be one of the next best players here at Dortmund,” Sancho said in an interview with Bundesliga.com. “I’m just happy to see him play, and play with him every week, and I’m just excited for what happens next.”
Reyna has totaled 156 minutes for Lucien Favre’s side this season since making his senior debut back on Jan. 18th against Augsburg. He scored his first goal off a magnificent strike against Werder Bremen in a 3-2 German Cup Round of 16 defeat and recently shined in a 23-minute appearance against the Ligue 1 giants.
Teaming up with the likes of Sancho and Haaland, Reyna has become an exciting talent for the Bundesliga club who remain in the fight for a league title and possible advancement in Europe.
“Brandt is out, Marco is out, they’re very big players to us, so it’s unfortunate,” Sancho said. “But again, we young players have to step up, like me, Gio and Haaland. We’ve got to step up and try to score the goals, and I think we’re capable of doing that if we keep focused and keep working hard.”
Reyna had to wait for his time to break in with the first team after making 16 appearances for Dortmund’s Under-19 team to begin the season in August 2019. The former NYCFC academy player scored eight goals and registered eight assists for the U-19 team before earning a promotion to the first team.
Favre gave Reyna his chance with the first team and admitted that the midfielder still has a long future ahead of him do impress even more.
“We’ve been keeping tabs on Gio for a long time – you’re blind if you don’t see his qualities,” Favre said. “He’s very clever and, at the age of 17, still has a great deal to accomplish.”
Dortmund remains four points behind league leaders Bayern Munich after a 2-0 road win over Werder Bremen on Saturday. Up next are league matches against Freiburg and rivals Borussia Monchengladbach before a trip to the Parc Des Princes for their Round of 16 second leg tie.