Welcome back, BVB fans! As we gear up for the beginning of the season, let’s take a look at two players who, for the BVB squad and fans, may feel as much like new transfers as returning members of the team. Mateu Morey and Gio Reyna have spent a long time on the sidelines with their injuries. Morey did not play a single minute for BVB in 2021/2022, and Gio Reyna’s horrid run of luck only allowed him 439 minutes in the league. Fans could be forgiven for forgetting about the two youngsters, but at 22 years old and 19 years old respectively, both players will be raring to get their blossoming careers back on track. Edin Terzic will be relishing the return of his young stars as well, hoping they can contribute to his major BVB rebuild.
Mateu Morey’s horror knee injury put him on the surgery table all the way back in May of 2021 after a jarring misstep during the DFB Pokal game against Holstein Kiel. Morey was finally seeing his stock rise for BVB before the injury, usurping Thomas Meunier in the pecking order at right-back. Never having seen the field under Marco Rose, Morey will be thrilled the coach who brought him into the starting eleven is back at the helm. Morey arrived at BVB in 2019, making five appearances in his maiden campaign. Morey was meant to help ease the transition away from Lukasz Piszczek, with the Pole and Achraf Hakimi primarily manning the right side of the defense. With Hakimi gone at the end of May 2020, Thomas Meunier also arrived to fill the void.
Meunier’s poor start to life in Germany meant Morey found his status in the team elevated, and when Terzic took over, the Spaniard was essentially first-choice at right back, starting in both legs against Sevilla and Manchester City in the Champions League. Morey’s injury could not have come at a worse time, causing him to miss out on the final of the DfB Pokal and the entirety of the Marco Rose era. Dortmund’s lack of depth at right-back was woefully exposed, with Emre Can playing out of position and a few shifts from Manuel Akanji required to cover. Edin Terzic will be thrilled to know that his first choice right back is back to fitness and will be ready for his first outings very soon. The question will be, can Morey recover his form and become the fullback Dortmund has desperately needed to succeed Lukasz Piszczek? This would be the time to prove it for the young Spaniard.
Gio Reyna’s injury luck was heartbreaking for both player and fans last season, as the young American was desperate to contribute to his team’s fortunes. Tragically each time Reyna tried to return to action his time was cut short by a re-aggravation of his old injuries, and the player ultimately missed 34 games for BVB. It is worrying to see a player of Reyna’s age and fitness suffer from such difficult injuries, but a summer of rest should hopefully have helped Reyna fully recover without the pressure of returning to action. Reyna also made his big break under the tutelage of Edin Terzic, helping BVB to win DfB Pokal.
This season, Reyna could have a massive role to play. With Sebastian Kehl opting to supply his coaching staff with a slew of forwards, responsibility will fall to the creative midfielders to create goal-scoring opportunities. Reyna’s exceptional eye for a pass and tight dribbling will give players like Adeyemi and Malen the opportunity to beat opposing defenses with a turn of pace. Reyna will also be looking to take some burden off of his captain. Reus was stellar last season, playing almost every game he was fit for and chipping in with double-digit goals and assists for the second year running. Still, the captain is getting older, and having Reyna fit and ready to cycle into the first team will help him regain confidence and fitness. Getting Reyna back into the team will also establish his role in the squad going forward.
Dortmund has clearly strengthened in the transfer market this summer, but Reyna and Morey will bring another element to this year’s title charge. If these two players can pick back up where they left off, they will raise the competition for places in the squad even higher.