The first high-profile Bundesliga transfer this winter has taken place. Borussia Monchengladbach’s star attacker, Marco Reus, has signed a deal with last year’s champion, Borussia Dortmund, and will join his hometown club this summer.
Reus, 22, has seen his stock rise rapidly in the last two seasons as his abundant talent and determination have become quite evident, and expectations were that he would be leaving Gladbach for a bigger club. Despite the interest of Bayern Munich, Reus inked a deal with Borussia Dortmund for a reported transfer fee of 17.5 million Euros on a contract that runs through July, 2017.
Reus began his career with Dortmund as a youth player, but went to Rot Weiss Ahlen in 2007, scoring five times in 43 matches. He signed a four-year contract with Gladbach in May, 2009 and scored his first Gladbach goal in August against Mainz, and has gone on to score 30 more goal for Gladbach, along with 14 assists in 88 matches for the Foals in all competitions.
Reus’ game has grown further under Gladbach coach Lucien Favre. Since the Swiss coach took over the last-place club in February, 2010, they won their relegation playoff and this season, led by Reus’ 10 goals in 14 league matches, are only four points behind Bayern Munich who top the table. With Reus remaining with Gladbach for the second half of the campaign, Gladbach appear to have a great chance of securing at least a European berth for next season, and perhaps gain even greater glory.
Gladbach made two contract extension offers in the last days, but Reus, whose parents and girlfriend live in Dortmund, made up his mind over Christmas holidays to sign with his hometown club. But, as Reus stated, “It’s important for me to clarify that this wasn’t a decision against Gladbach. I’ve had a wonderful time here up until now and Borussia gave me the chance to prove myself in the Bundesliga and to develop into the player I am now.”
“I’ll be sad to leave as it’s been such an important environment for me. It was crucial for me to be upfront and honest with Gladbach and not to drag it out. But I’ve decided to take the next step in the summer and I want to play in a side that can fight for the title and give me the guarantee of Champions League football. Dortmund can do that.” Reus has pledged his ultimate effort in helping Borussia Gladbach find continued success in his final months with the club.
Although fans of Gladbach (his current team), Bayern Munich (thwarted suitors) and Schalke (Dortmund’s heated rivals) may be unhappy with Reus’ decision to join the yellow-blacks, Bundesliga fans in general should be happy to see the young star remain in the Bundesliga as he develops into a world-class player (if he isn’t one already). Reus has also been getting callups to the German NT, and hopefully will play an important role in the team’s 2012 Euro adventures. For more on young Reus’ unique talents, see Daniel Nyari’s excellent “The Indomitable Rise of Marco Reus” from November. The thought of the talented young trio of Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze and Reus together at Dortmund should excite footy fans around the globe.
Magath Shopping Spree Continues
Felix Magath is continuing in his avowed plans on remaking the player roster at VfL Wolfsburg, bring in another three players in the last day after acquiring Serbian Slobodan Medojevic and Czech Petr Jiracek. Magath has now brought in FC Sion player Giovanni Sio, striker Vieirinha from PAOK Salonika and Ferhan Hasani from FK Shkendija Tetovo.
Sio, a 5’11” striker, is a French native who began his youth career at FC Nantes before heading to Spain’s Real Sociedad in 2007. After only getting a few matches with the senior team, Sio transferred to Swiss side FC Sion in September, 2009 and has scored 17 goals in 48 first team matches. Sio has represented France almost 40 times at the U-16, U-17 and U-18 levels, and also received a callup to the Ivory Coast U-20 side.
Vieirinha, 5’8″, is a 25 year-old native of Portugal who came up in the youth systems of Vitória de Guimarães and Porto. He spent time on loan from Porto in Portugal’s second division and with promoted first division side Leixões in 2007-2008. A loan deal to PAOK was made permanent following the striker’s success there, as he has scored 20 goals in 108 matches since 2008 and has been named PAOK’s MVP the last two seasons. Although yet to be called up to Portugal’s senior national team, Vieirinha has featured almost 80 times with the national youth teams since 2001. According to Magath, “Vieirinha has impressed both as a provider and a finisher at PAOK and these qualities should improve our threat in front of goal. He is a versatile forward with good dribbling qualities and he can play both centrally and out wide.”
Hasani, 21, is a 6 foot forward/left winger who has six national team appearances for Macedonia and has played his club football for FK Shkëndija, helping them win the 2010-2011 Macedonian championship. He has scored 18 goals in 42 appearances with the club and reportedly was being sought after by FC Groningen, Gent and Hajduk Split before signing with Wolfsburg on a three-year deal.