It’s been a long time coming, but Marco Reus is finallyset to return to the Bundesliga scene with Borussia Dortmund after another long battle back from injury.

Reus has cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines since the serious knee ligament injury he sustained in BVB’s DFB Cup final win over Eintracht Frankfurt last May.

After eight months of gruelling recovery, BVB’s agent provocateur-in-chief is ready to return to competitive footballbundesliga.com has highlighted some of the reasons we should all be excited about seeing Reus on the pitch again. Well, all of us who aren’t Bundesliga defenders…

1) More goals with Reus

Reus has that happy knack of being a player who can turn games, breathing life into them with a moment of brilliance that gets fans on their feet. Of his 56 Bundesliga goals for BVB, 25 of them have given his team that all-important 1-0 lead while in the 2016/17 season, Die Schwarzgelben boasted 17 shots per game with Reus in the side, three more than when he was missing.

Unsurprisingly, they also scored more goals, finding the net on average 2.2 times per 90 minutes with Reus on the pitch last term.

Watch: Marco Reus’ best strikes of the 2016/17 Bundesliga season!

2) Big-game player

Bundesliga fans flock to stadiums every matchday in their hundreds of thousands to be entertained, and in Reus, the German top flight has one of the world’s very best footballing showmen. His 56 goals in 125 Bundesliga outings for BVB show that there is significant substance to his style too, while the 42 assists he has registered in the same time frame are proof of a selfless spirit who does not want to hog the limelight.

Still, sometimes it is hard to avoid being the centre of attention when you have the big-game stats Reus boasts. He has been involved in nine goals, scoring five, in 14 meetings with Bayern Munich — that’s something for the Bundesliga champions to consider ahead of Der Klassiker at the Allianz Arena on Matchday 28.

Bayern Munich will be one of a host of Bundesliga rivals fearing Marco Reus’ return © imago / Laci Perenyi

3) Top-three battle boost

Dortmund are one of seven teams in a suffocating four-point bottleneck between second and eighth in what promises to be an edge-of-the-seat, down-to-the-wire race for one of Germany’s three automatic UEFA Champions League group stage qualifying places behind runaway leaders Bayern. Currently fourth, a point behind Leverkusen and RB Leipzig, BVB are certainly nestled snugly in the hunt, but with Reus — a Bundesliga thoroughbred — back, they will be a far stronger proposition.

Last season BVB picked up over two points a game on average with Reus in the line-up, 1.7 without him. They’ll need a reborn Reus to be on song with Peter Stöger’s men still to go to Mönchengladbach, Leipzig and Schalke in the Rückrunde with Augsburg, Frankfurt and Leverkusen coming to the Signal Iduna Park.

Watch: See how Reus handles the pressure when he’s on a clock!

4) Great timing for Germany

Reus knows a thing or two about timing, and not necessarily just the positive aspects. There is nothing wrong with his sense of when to release a pass, take a shot or make a run, but when it comes to injuries, Lady Luck could have picked her moments far more happily for the former Borussia Mönchengladbach prodigy.

His ankle injury days before the 2014 FIFA World Cup was the heartbreaking cloud over Germany’s win, his groin gave way before UEFA EURO 2016, while the Confederations Cup was endured in the wake of knee surgery.

Now in his late 20s and — theoretically — at the peak of his football powers, his return to fitness is, for once, timely, ahead of Russia 2018. If he gets back to somewhere near his best, Reus will surely be in Joachim Löw’s squad to defend their world crown. Keep your fingers (and everything else) crossed…

Marco Reus has nine goals in 29 appearances for Germany, but his talent deserves many more of both. © Alexander Hassenstein

5) A role model for Pulisic, Sancho and Co.

With his partner-in-crime, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, having left, Reus finds himself the biggest, most senior name in the future Dortmund attack, which should see him line up alongside Christian Pulisic and Michy Batshuayi. His own qualities will provide the team with a major boost, but merely having him on the pitch — during matches and in training — can only be positive for Pulisic and other young members of the squad.

Yes, Jadon Sancho, who has also suffered an injury, may find establishing himself in the starting XI tougher with Reus back. There is no doubt, however, the former Manchester City youngster will benefit from seeing the Germany international in action on the pitch, and Reus will perhaps even have some words of advice for keeping sane in the treatment room.

With Marco Reus (l.) and Christian Pulisci (r.) plying either side of Michy Batshuayi, Dortmund promise to be a devastating force going forward in the Rückrunde. © imago

Click here for more Borussia Dortmund news, views and features!


Source link