Marco Reus: Analyzing the Borussia Dortmund captain’s importance to the team

Marco Reus (Photo by Dennis Bresser/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Marco Reus (Photo by Dennis Bresser/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Marco Reus
Marco Reus battles for the ball. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) /

Marco Reus’ defensive contributions

Not only is Marco Reus critical to Borussia Dortmund’s attack, he has proven himself to be a vital component on defense as well. In fact, this has probably been his most important contribution to the team thus far this season. For a team that has struggled mightily with conceding goals over the last several seasons, seeing someone like Reus operate more holistically on the pitch has been refreshing.

For starters, Reus’ heat map is quite literally all over the pitch. He has been everywhere this season, showing up equally in the defensive half as in the final third of the pitch. Whereas many players who play as a forward or attacking midfielder might stay more central and high up on the pitch, Reus has made it a point to track back defensively and drift out wide to support the wingers and fullbacks.

The 33 year old also leads the team in total sprints taken, and he is second on the team in intensive runs. Despite being one of the oldest starters on the team, Reus’ performances are not lacking in terms of effort given on the pitch. Being the team captain should require something more than words alone, and Reus’ actions are a good representation of what is required to lead his teammates by example.

Reus is also third on the team in terms of total tackles, only behind the likes of Jude Bellingham and Nico Schlotterbeck, which is an impressive statistic for an attacking midfielder to have. Not only that, but Reus leads the team in tackles won in the attacking third, meaning that he has been one of Borussia Dortmund’s most effective pressing players. His effort and tenacity often leads to BVB winning possession high up the pitch, which will inherently lead to more goal-scoring opportunities for the team.