Opinion: Why Gio Reyna deserves more playing time at Borussia Dortmund

Gio Reyna. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Gio Reyna. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Gio Reyna in action against Hoffenheim
Gio Reyna in action against Hoffenheim. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) /

The stats that show why Gio Reyna should be given more playing time

Gio Reyna played a crucial role in Borussia Dortmund’s title push last season. As an impact sub, he scored winners against Augsburg and Mainz.

In addition to his goals, he was always a handful for the tired defences of Bundesliga teams off the bench. Considering his continuous improvement and the departure of Jude Bellingham, there was hope that the USMNT international would be the new rising star in Dortmund. But his progress has seemingly stalled due to a lack of playing time since his return from injury.

Reyna has made just four appearances in the Bundesliga this season and only one of them came as a starter. Even then, he was taken off at half-time. He has been used just once in the UEFA Champions League, and made an impactful appearance in the DFB-Pokal tie against Hoffenheim.

While he has yet to find the back of the net or provide an assist this season, the 21 year old has done more than enough to show why he deserves more minutes in the first-team.

Despite being limited to just 201 minutes of playing time this season, Reyna’s non-penalty xG+xAG is 0.53, a stat only bettered by Julian Brandt and Marco Reus (per Fbref). He also averages 5.83 progressive passes per 90 minutes, and leads the team for the most shot creating actions per 90 minutes with 7.67.

These numbers show that having him in the starting XI would undoubtedly help with Borussia Dortmund’s creativity issues, which have plagued the team since the start of the season.

A criticism that it often levied against Gio Reyna is his lack of defensive contributions, but he also leads Borussia Dortmund for tackles won per 90 minutes and tackles in the attacking third. And he also has strong interceptions and blocks numbers.

These stats would potentially decrease if he is given more playing time. But they also show that he is more than willing to put in the hard work if given the opportunity.

Donyell Malen has been inconsistent this season and is currently in the middle of an 11 game goal drought. He has yet to replicate his excellent form from the second half of last season. Marco Reus is still a key player, but given his age and injury history, it is unfair to expect him to play two games every week.

There is certainly enough room for Gio Reyna to get more opportunities, but it is unclear as to why that is not happening. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Youssoufa Moukoko appear to be in a similar boat despite showing glimpses of their quality when called upon.