The season has been a roller-coaster ride for Borussia Dortmund and it has been no different for Marco Reus. The attacking midfielder has gone through one of the most challenging periods of his career during which he had to endure the pain of multiple injuries, disappointment of not lifting the World Cup with Germany and the uncertainty regarding his future at Borussia Dortmund. Doubts were cast over his abilities, his performances were scrutinized, his loyalty was questioned. While the attacker was able to clear the air over his future by signing a new contract until 2019 with Dortmund, he had to endure a tough time due to repeated injuries and the cluba s poor form.
Injuries Inversely Proportional To Performances:
Despite winning only the DFL SuperCup with Dortmund in the whole 2013-14 season, Reus enjoyed a great season individually. He was involved in 30 goals alone in the Bundesliga and was the star for the Yellow and Blacks as they reached quarterfinals of the Champions League and final of the DFB Pokal. But getting injured became more common for the Dortmund native in 2014-15 season as he missed out half of the season due to injuries to various parts of his body. It was a great disappointment for many to see one of Germanya s gifted midfielders miss the World Cup in Brazil when he damaged heel ligaments during a pre-tournament friendly against Armenia. But Joachim Low and Germany didna t have much to worry with the abundant pool of talent available to them and went on to win footballa s biggest prize in Brazil without him.
As the injury needed three months of recovery, the attacking midfielder also missed out on Dortmunda s Super Cup victory against Bayern Munich in early August. He made just three first team appearances for Schwarzgelben before injuring himself once again on international duty against Scotland tearing his knee ligaments. That was when the season started to go awry for Reus and Dortmund. They lost matches on a regular basis which ruled them out of the title race in early August. The pacey winger made a quick return in October in a match against Koln but couldnt save his team from losing to the newly promoted side. He had to shoulder additional responsibility in attack with Robert Lewandowski leaving for Bayern Munich, and the duo of Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang looking out of sorts. The burden was heavy on him with new signings Ciro Immobile, Adrian Ramos and returning Shinji Kagawa also failing miserably. When he played well, Dortmund played well. He helped them make progress in the DFB Cup and Champions League but couldna t carry the form into the league games as Dortmund slowly slipped down to the bottom of Bundesliga. Ankle strain came back to haunt the speedster when he limped out of a 1-0 victory against Borussia Monchengladbach in November with Jurgen Klopp shaking his head in disbelief on the sidelines. Without their main set of players, Dortmund were languishing in the bottom half of the table by late November when things became worse. Reus returned and was stretchered out all in the same match against SC Paderborn when Marvin Bakalorza s challenge tore ligaments in his right ankle. With their talisman sidelined until the end of winter break, Dortmunda s fortunes hit rock bottom as they finished first half of the season in the relegation zone. Dortmunda s attack was more at fault than the leaky defence at the back as their talismana s absence was clearly felt. Though the ex-Monchengladbach man suffered with adductor problem recently in mid-April and wasna t at his usual best, the situation at Signal Iduna Park is entirely different now. Despite all the injuries he is the second highest goalscorer for Dortmund with 11 goals in all competitions and Dortmund looked more confident in the final third when he was on the pitch.
Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski were the key players in the Dortmund side that won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 alongside Reus. But both of them left for Bayern leading to a frosty relationship between the clubs. The Dortmund faithful dreaded the same would happen with their favorite son when Reus refused to renew his contract which had a release clause activated in 2015. Adding to that, Dortmund were facing relegation danger which made the atmosphere in Westfalenstadion more tense. Big clubs like Manchester United,Arsenal, Barcelona and Real Madrid were interested in the German with Real Madrid being heavily linked in bringing him to Santiago Bernabeu. But everybody at the club breathed easy once Reus put pen to the paper on 10th February 2015 signing a new contract keeping him at Dortmund until 2019. The fans were delighted with the news as were his team mates, when Kevin Grosskreutz revealed that the whole team gave Reus a round of applause in the dressing room after signing the contract. Though Dortmunda s fortunes werena t immediately reversed, Reusa contract extension had a positive impact on the team. It was evident in the match against Mainz where he celebrated his new contract with a goal and assist. He was again impressive against Juventus in the last-16 tie of Champions League where he scored a crucial away goal in a 2-1 loss. There was little he could do to prevent Dortmund from getting eliminated from the Champions League, as they lost the second leg 3-0. But the attacking midfielder played a crucial role as they climbed out of relegation zone in Bundesliga and reached the semifinals of DFB-Pokal. He was not at his best against Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal semifinal after coming back from a groin problem, but his team covered up for him when Aubameyang scored the equalizer which eventually led to extra-time and victory on penalties booking their place in the final.
Future With Dortmund:
The season has not gone as expected for Reus and Dortmund. But there were positives and negatives in equal measure. Multiple injuries might have left any player with low-confidence and degraded performances but Reus gave his everything when he came out on the pitch. His pace and dribbling have been sharp as ever allowing him to score goals and assist his teammates. Helping Dortmund out of the relegation zone to put them in contention for the Europa League spots clearly indicates that he is the future of the club. a Marco can define an era in Dortmund as Uwe Seeler did in Hamburg or Steven Gerrard in Liverpool,” said a delighted Hans-Joachim Watzke when the 25-year old signed his contract extension in February. It would have been hard for Reus and his Dortmund team mates when head coach Jurgen Klopp announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. But there is a great chance of giving his beloved coach and mentor a grand farewell by winning the DFB Pokal in Berlin. Reus might be sitting on the sidelines for now with injury for the sixth time this season, but Thomas Tuchel another ex-Mainz coach who will replace Klopp next season will be counting on him. For a season highlighted by injuries and his favorite coacha s departure, the DFB Pokal trophy and a Europa League berth could be the silver lining for Reus.