Since having a taste of first-team football action last season, Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Gio Reyna is eyeing on more opportunities at Signal Iduna Park with the Bundesliga runners-up.
Reyna, a 17-year-old American is the latest prodigy to have made a rapid rise to the first team in most people’s eyes. But to Reyna himself, it’s been a slow and steady process. That has made the teenager say that will change in the coming season though.
He is therefore set for his first full campaign in Dortmund’s senior squad after making his Bundesliga debut for the club in January, midway through the 2019/20 season.
From then on, he has made fifteen Bundesliga appearances, two substitute appearances in the UEFA Champions League, and one scoring performance in the DFB Cup. His improved performance has made him a fully-fledged member of Dortmund’s first-team squad. And to him, it is just the beginning.
Now I am ready – Gio Reyna
Speaking with Sports Illustrated, the American youth international said he is ready now, pointing out his performance towards the end of the season.
” I wasn’t fully like out of my shell. But this season, coming back, I think a lot will change. Against Leipzig, I think you can see a little bit of it – that I was ready to play. I think now this season, I want to make a really big jump.”
Reyna joined the Bundesliga team from the MLS team, New York City FC. He made his rise to Dortmund’s first-team in the space of nine months was already a giant leap.
He is the youngest American to feature in Bundesliga after making his debut against Augsburg in January at the age of 17 years and 66 days, breaking the previous record held by Christian Pulisic.
But Reyna, who made his senior debut two months earlier than Pulisic is still expecting an even quicker transition.
“For me, when I first came [to Dortmund] last season, it was more just about, ‘How can I get to the first team as quickly as possible?’ Because that was the main goal. It wasn’t play for the U-19s – no knock on those kids. But I didn’t want to play there.
“I just think it’s your expectations for yourself. I knew I was going to be able to do it soon,” Reyna added.
The conviction he said came within him adding that he knew that he was better than the kids in the U19s.
” I knew I could make the next step soon. But it’s just a matter of time.”
Also speaking on the talent of the young American, Otto Addo – Dortmund’s assistant coach, who works closely with him in the first-team squad has seen why Reyna’s beliefs are far from outlandish.
“Some players, they need months to develop, to get further, to get to the next step.
“With him, if you talk with him about something, maybe it would happen the next week, but by the second week, it won’t happen again. He’s taking weeks where others are taking a year to understand things – not only to understand but also to transfer it onto the pitch. His soccer intelligence is far ahead,” Addo said.