Player profile: Marco Reus

Borussia Dortmund completed the signing of their number one transfer target on Wednesday when they got the signature of Marco Reus from fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach. The young German who made his senior international debut against Turkey in October will stay with the Foals until the end of the season. The transfer fee is €17.5 million – BVB’s biggest signing in over a decade.

Marco Reus had slowly began to pick up interest from rich English Premier League sides but turned them and Bayern Munich down to sign for the defending German Bundesliga champions. Perhaps the reason behind this… Reus will be returning home.

Born in Dortmund in 1989, Reus was part of the youth setup for 10 years between 1996 and 2006. A bit-part player in the Borussia Dortmund under-17 side that won the German Youth Championship in 2006, Reus left his hometown team to sign for Rot Weiss Ahlen as a 16-year old in 2006. He broke into the first team during the 2007/08 season when his side won the Regional League North, which was then the third tier of German football.

After one season in the 2. Bundesliga where Reus scored 4 goals in 27 league appearances for Rot Weiss Ahlen during a mid-table campaign, he impressed the coaches at Borussia Mönchengladbach who were coming off the back of avoiding relegation from the top flight; 1 point above Energie Cottbus and the relegation playoff match against 1. FC Nürnberg.

Marco Reus quietly impressed during his first season in the Bundesliga as a 20-year old during a relegation battle campaign. He netted 8 times during his 33 appearances for Michael Frontzeck’s side that season.

Borussia Mönchengladbach were heading for relegation the following season, 7 points adrift from safety with the most-porous defence in the league when Frontzeck was shown the door and in came Lucien Favre on Valentine’s Day 2011.

Favre’s first priority was to focus on the defence. He fixed their problems at the back, getting the best out of centre-back Dante (now at Bayern Munich) and playing a very defensive-minded system exploiting the skills of Marco Reus in particular on the counter attack. Highly-rated 18-year old goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen was promoted to the first team under the Swiss manager and played 8 games at the end of the season.

Reus was beginning to get noticed with his performances towards the end of the 2010/11 season and as Borussia Mönchengladbach prepared for their great escape under Favre; picking up 10 points from their final four games, sending St Pauli to the bottom of the table (losing their last four) and Eintracht Frankfurt joining them (1 point from their last four).

The great escape was complete in a two-legged relegation playoff match with VfL Bochum; the third-placed team in the 2. Bundesliga that season. After Gladbach won the first leg 1-0 through a stoppage time strike from Ivan de Camargo, they were trailing by the same score in the return. That was until Marco Reus scored the equaliser on the night in the 73rd minute and ensured another season of top flight action for the Foals.

Borussia Mönchengladbach started this season with a 1-0 win in Bayern Munich and are currently fourth during the mid-season break.

Marco Reus has arguably been the best player for the first 17 match days, scoring 10 goals. He plays behind the striker as a box-to-box midfielder who both wins possession for his side, launches and finishes counter attacks.

The young German has great awareness on the pitch and intelligent to find space in and around the penalty area. Very good at dribbling the ball too as demonstrated with a number of long runs this season, a few resulting in goals.

Borussia Dortmund have signed one of Germany’s hottest rising stars to a five-year contract. The deal means Reus can meet back up with his family and friends in his hometown, something he had been doing regularly on his days off as a teenager with Ahlen.

Head coach Jürgen Klopp will have a decision where to play Reus in his side next season with and already star-studded attacking trio of Kevin Großkreutz, Shinji Kagawa and Mario Götze. The latter two have been speculated with moves away from Signal Iduna Park both this month and in the summer. Perhaps with this deal moving through at the end of the season, Kagawa and Götze will at least see the season through at Borussians