Gio Reyna brought ample excitement with a strategic move from Borussia Dortmund to Nottingham Forest. The expectation was that the American would earn more playing time. Ideally, it would have enhanced his form ahead of the Copa America. Unfortunately, this plan did not pan out as expected.

In his four months at Forest, Reyna managed only 230 minutes of play across nine Premier League matches, with just two starts. This lack of playing time stemmed from Forest’s urgent need to avoid relegation. This led the club to rely on more experienced attackers like Morgan Gibbs-White, Anthony Elanga, and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

What went wrong for Reyna in the Premier League?

Reyna’s decision to move to Nottingham Forest was allegedly influenced by his father, former USMNT international Claudio Reyna; despite reservations from Borussia Dortmund and Reyna’s former agency. The move was also partly based on the presence of Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo, as they share the same agent, Jorge Mendes. Despite this connection, the 21-year-old could not secure a regular spot in the starting lineup.

His best performance came in April against Wolves, where he started, played 71 minutes, and provided an assist. Nonetheless, this was a rare highlight in an otherwise disappointing spell. As a result, Nottingham Forest is not planning to retain Reyna beyond the current loan that ends this month.

The US international will now return to Borussia Dortmund, where he faces uncertainty about his role. With his contract extended until 2026, the Germans have kept their options open. However, the club is allegedly well aware that the loan to Forest did not yield the desired results.

What did Gio Reyna say about his time with Nottingham Forest?

Reyna, reflecting on his time at Forest, acknowledged the challenges and the lessons learned from the experience. He emphasized the importance of finding a club where he can secure consistent playing time and feel valued. This experience has shaped his outlook as he seeks a new club that aligns with his career goals.

Reflecting on his time at Forest, he told The Athletic, “It didn’t go as planned. The goal was to go there and play games and get really consistent minutes but the club was under a lot of pressure and things happen. It’s never that simple, going on loan for three to four months. I was blessed to be at Dortmund for a few years, finishing top-five guaranteed and playing Champions League every year.

“At Forest, I saw the other side of it. It gave me a perspective of a different kind of football. One day, I’d love to go back to the Premier League, so to get a taste of that was also really valuable for me going forward.”

Looking forward, Reyna added, “I’m really focused on the national team at the moment. There’s been discussions and I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen. I just want to go somewhere that is at the highest possible level, but still play an important role, get consistent minutes and be an important player for any team, whether it’s at Dortmund or somewhere else. I’m just looking for the right fit for me, playing at a high level and a club that wants me — where I feel valued.”