This, he said made him ready for more first-team opportunities in the new campaign. The BVB will open its Bundesliga campaign against Borussia Monchengladbach on September 18.
Having adapted well to the team and secured a breakthrough into the senior squad in January, the 17-year-old American says he is ready “for a bigger role” in the Borussia Dortmund team in 2020/21. He has been impressive in pre-season for Lucien Favre’s side scoring four goals in three games.
The New York native was able to make 15 top-flight appearances for the Black-Yellow in the 2019/20 season after being promoted to the first team from the U19s over the winter break. He has drawn widespread praise for his assured displays in attacking midfield, especially from the US male national team head coach Gregg Berhalter. The tactician, who has experience in the German Bundesliga is keen to hand him his senior international debut as soon as possible.
Reyna, who is not resting on his laurels, carried on with his eye-catching ability into Dortmund’s preparations for the new campaign, scoring four of the side’s 26 goals in pre-season, and starting several games.
‘Confident Gio Reyna more composed’
Speaking at a press conference after training this week, Reyna was asked how he got to be self-confident and more composed ahead of the new season. He said he is sure of himself, adding that many things have changed after making some appearances for the first team.
“I think it’s a bit of everything. The most important thing for me is confidence, which I’ve gotten a lot of over the last six weeks in pre-season. I’m doing well, I’ve gotten closer with a lot of the guys.
“They’ve really accepted me now and they expect me to have a big season for them too. I just think confidence is the biggest thing that’s improved for me,” he replied.
Already aware of what is expected of him, Reyna is no longer a wide-eyed newcomer or stranger of Germany’s top flight. The teenager believes his experiences in the 2019/20 Rückrunde will help him in the upcoming campaign.
“I learned a lot last season in my first six months in the Bundesliga, getting used to the professional speed of play and physicality.
“I think I made a big jump and I think everybody knows I’m ready to play more and have a bigger role in the team now.
Reyna wants more football opportunities, as he aimed to also score more goals in the process.
“I just want to play as much as I can and to start many more games this year. I want to score goals and have assists also. I want to help the team in any way so that we can win. I want to try to win the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup, and the Champions League too because we’re a big club.
“I’m still so young so I can grow in many different areas. I just want to learn new things every day,” he explained.
Although his progress has been rapid, the right-footed attacker is not taking such privilege than gave him in the team for granted, especially now that captain Marco Reus is now fully recovered from injury.
“Marco’s done so much for this club and is obviously a world-class player. Of course, there’s competition, and it’s healthy competition. It may not now be as easy [to get playing time] as when he was injured, but there are still so many positives to having him back in the team.
“I can still play in other positions and he can too. It’s not only him [that there will be competition with], we have other good attackers this season, so it’s against other guys as well. I’m happier to have him back than not,” Reyna said.
‘There a chance of getting more game time at Dortmund’
Meanwhile, Favre will have no choice than to rotate his squad due to the congested fixtures the club has, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This could work in Reyna’s favour.
“I’m ready for an exciting year – we know it’s going to be a long year because we have lots of games.
“I think we’re both [fellow 17-year-old Jude Bellingham] going to get opportunities this year for sure, so it’s just about whether we take them or not.”
Reyna, who further stated that the ultimate of the club is to win some silverware, added that the BVB is in a good position to do so.
“I think we’re stronger this season than last season. We’ve added few exciting, energetic pieces that will help our team with a tight schedule this year. We’ve got more depth, which is good to have.”