Marco Reus’s injury history reads like a medical textbook: muscular problems, cruciate ligament rupture, contusion, osteitis pubis, adductor problems, and that’s only a selection of the issues from the last three seasons. The 29-year-old is known as one of the most talented left-wingers in the world, but he’s also known as the most injured too.
Since joining Borussia Dortmund in 2012-13, his career has been blighted by injuries which have cost him game time all too often. His first two seasons saw him play over 30 Bundesliga games, but he has only surpassed 25 league games once since then. Seventeen games in 2016-17 were followed by just 11 last season with the aforementioned cruciate ligament rupture keeping him out for the entire first half of the 2017-18 campaign.
When he returned, he was the Reus of old, gliding past defenders, causing problems with his amazing technical ability, and finding the net with great regularity. He ended last season with an impressive return of seven goals in 11 games, and now that he’s fully fit for this campaign, looks to have picked up exactly where he left off.
Reus started the season with a goal and assist in the DFB-Pokal win over Greuther Furth and repeated that tally in the opening game of the league campaign against RB Leipzig. He was kept off the stats sheet by Hannover just before the international break, but was Dortmund’s most potent attacking talent in the scoreless draw and twice hit the woodwork as BVB continue to adjust to Favreball.
Lucien Favre rightly sees the Germany international as central to his plans of competing for the Bundesliga title, especially considering Reus decided to turn down offers of a move abroad in order to extend his stay at Signal Iduna Park.
Reus has never let injuries affect him and thus continues to play without fear. So far this season he has an xG90 and xA90 of 0.41 and 0.39 respectively, meaning that over 90 minutes he is likely to produce either a goal or an assist. This is not an anomaly for the attacker, who is actually below his usual expected goal tally.
It also bodes extremely well for tonight’s clash with Eintracht Frankfurt, where Dortmund will look to return to winning ways and also give Paco Alcacer his first start since joining from Barcelona. Having a proper frontman will hugely benefit Reus, taking some of the goalscoring responsibility off him and allow him to play more freely – something which was evident during Michy Bathsuayi’s run in the BVB side last season.
Favreball encourages attacking players to be versatile and not stick to a particular role or position, meaning Reus can drift inside to pick up the ball, but also to create and take goalscoring chances. All Dortmund’s attackers are thus worth watching, including substitute Jadon Sancho who is likely to rotate with Christian Pulisic, especially once the Champions League games start coming thick and fast.
Reus has taken on a leadership role, having encouraged Pulisic to stay in the Bundesliga to continue his development, and is someone that the Borussia Dortmund players look to as an example to follow on the pitch and off the pitch.
As long as he can avoid injury and ensures he makes all his headlines with his on-field antics, Reus will be one of the key players in the Bundesliga this season, and the man best suited to cause Bayern Munich problems and finally end their domestic dominance.