After he became the youngest DFB-Pokal goal-scorer in the competition's history last February, many have predicted that the American with seemingly limitless skills is poised for a huge breakthrough. Strong relationships with his teammates and an observably confident demeanor seem to suggest that they may be right.
|Giovanni Reyna.||Photo: Borussia Dortmund|
Young and self-assured, American phenom Giovanni Reyna beamed before the cameras in a pre-training Dortmund presser on Thursday. The 17-year-old refused to shy away from a reporters loaded question about the prospects of FC Bayern München once again winning the Bundesliga.
“We’re not going into the season expecting Bayern to be champions,” he confidently asserted, “We expect that we’ll be champions. We’ll do everything we can to win the Bundesliga.”
The 17-year-old has made enormous strides in the last calendar year. Last September he was a mere trainee with the youth squad. He’s now a potential member of Lucien Favre’s starting XI with a contender for one of the most brilliant goals of last season—a memorable tally in the fourth round of the DFB-Pokal—to his credit.
Since breaking through to the senior squad in Dortmund’s winter training camp, Favre used his surging youngster in every instance that he was healthy. Reyna featured in 15 of the season’s remaining 17 fixtures, starting the final two.
It is already well-known that Reyna roomed and commuted to training with fellow teenage sensation Erling Haaland during the COVID lockdown. The two are said to share a close relationship. On Thursday, Reyna communicated a profound respect for his midfield partner in Monday’s friendly against Sparta Rotterdam.
Reyna credited his increasing rise in confidence to Marco Reus, whom he referred to an inspirational role model. “And I don’t just say that because he’s the captain,” Reyna noted, adding that he had looked up to Reus “Since I was a child.”
As noted above, Favre’s lineup in the Rotterdam test fixture both Reyna and Reus in midfield. It might be the case that the Dortmund coach, who is on record as saying that he favors a back-three this season coach has found a way to keep both players in his squad.