Marco Reus: The Main Man at Monchengladbach
His technique is exquisite. His movement is terrific. His vision is breathtaking. His quality is unquestionable.
He is 22 years of age. He is one of the Bundesliga’s hottest properties. His name is Marco Reus, and he is the latest star to emerge from German football.
After a blistering start to the season, Reus has been thrust into the spotlight, and many top clubs around Europe have taken notice of his fine performances. The Monchengladbach midfielder has started this Bundesliga campaign on fire, and shows no signs of cooling off any time soon. The youngster has scored seven goals in the opening 12 games of this season, including three braces against Hannover, Hertha, and Wolfsburg. His form as earned him numerous call-ups to the Germany squad, but because of injuries, he was only able to make his debut this month. If the midfielder can stay fit, he will be a fixture in the national set-up for a long time.
Born in Dortmund, Reus began playing for Post SV Dortmund in 1995, before moving to Borussia Dortmund in 2003. He left for the U-19 of Rot Weiss Ahlen in the summer of 2006, and after breaking into the first team the following year, he helped the third division side earn promotion to 2. Bundesliga. His breakthrough season came in 2008-09, scoring four goals and appearing in 27 games, earning himself a move to Gladbach in May of 2009.
Gladbach were promoted to the Bundesliga in 2008, but the club found themselves in danger towards the end of last season. A horrific start almost saw Gladbach relegated. Then manager Michael Frontzeck led the club to a dismal 16 points from a possible 66, and was relieved of his duties in February after a loss to St. Pauli. The appointment of Swiss tactician Lucien Favre proved to be an inspired move. With a revitalized squad, Gladbach pushed for survival. In front of a watertight defense, the stage was set for Reus to become the hero. His performances helped Gladbach to six wins in the eleven matches with Favre at the helm, and his goal in the return leg of play-off final with Bochum kept Die Fohlen in the Bundesliga.
While saving his club from relegation, he may have also prevented himself from being sold. Had Gladbach dropped through the trapdoor and 2. Bundesliga, the club may have been forced to sell. With a number of clubs ready to pounce, Reus could have been playing in the Champions League this season.
If Gladbach and Reus can continue in the form that they have been showing so far this season, Europe isn’t out of the question. They sit fourth in the table, even on points with Dortmund and Werder Bremen, and trail leaders Bayern Munich by five points. They have conceded nine goals, scored 15, and have earned impressive wins over Bayern and Wolfsburg in the process. Favre’s team plays with high pressure, forcing their opponents into making mistakes, which Reus and company look to exploit.
A number of questions remain, however. Will Gladbach be able to continue their fine form through the rest of the season? Will Reus maintain his level of performance? Will he stay fit? Will he remain a Gladbach player for long?
Naturally, a number of clubs are interested in acquiring the services of the German international. In the Bundesliga, Bayern and Dortmund look to be leading the chase. Bayern’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has called him “an interesting player”, while Dortmund’s Michael Zorc has admitted that the club should have pursued a deal in the summer.
Abroad, Reus has caught the attention of both Manchester City and Arsenal. City’s technical director Mike Rigg has confirmed that they are interested in the prospect of bringing the German to the Etihad Stadium, and with the unlimited funds at their disposal, Manchester could be a likely destination. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was given a glowing recommendation of the player by his former goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann. Wenger will undoubtedly have had his eye on Reus for quite some time, but may be tempted to finally make a move for the player in January.
Many are unsure if now would be the right time for Reus to move on. Whether it is to another Bundesliga club or to a side in the Premier League, the jury is still out as to whether he is ready to make the step up. A number of young German stars have tried and failed at Bayern, and European footballers have always found adjusting to life in England’s top flight very difficult. While there is no dispute as to his ability on the pitch, the best place for Reus at the moment is believed to be with Gladbach.
Of course, Lucien Favre will be in no mood to lose his star man. Reus has almost single-handedly won games on his own this season, and he is the main reason that Gladbach are currently pushing for a place in Europe. His contract runs out in 2015, but the buy-out clause in his contract takes effect in 2012, and interest in the player grows after every match.
Next up for Gladbach is the visit of Werder Bremen this weekend. The side currently sits third in the table and have enjoyed a good start to the season after a disappointing finish to the last campaign. All signs point to an enthralling encounter, and Werder will know who they will need to keep quiet in order to get a result. If not, another brilliant performance from Reus could see Gladbach win all three points and third spot in the Bundesliga.