Borussia Dortmund target Hertha Berlin’s Fabian Reese: Should the club pursue the player?

Borussia Dortmund have been linked with Hertha Berlin attacker Fabian Reese as a possible transfer target.
Hertha BSC v Holstein Kiel - Second Bundesliga
Hertha BSC v Holstein Kiel - Second Bundesliga / Boris Streubel/GettyImages

With Borussia Dortmund’s 2023/24 season behind them now that the Champions League Final has been played, the club's full focus will be on the rebuild ahead, with a massive exodus of players expected this summer. The departure of quite a few players and the uncertain future of others make the attack and midfield positions of particular interest for the club in the coming months. The futures of Jadon Sancho, Donyell Malen as well as the departure of Marco Reus are all sure to play a role in the minds of Dortmund’s squad planners moving forward.

Dortmund does have some transfer plans in mind, however, especially in the case that Sancho cannot stay beyond his loan or Malen decides to leave. With Sancho, it’s still unclear just how much Dortmund will be willing to pay United for the player. A name that has sprung into contention, at least per Sky Sport, is Hertha Berlin’s Fabian Reese.

Reese has had an exemplary campaign for Hertha this season in the 2. Bundesliga, scoring 9 goals and providing a further 14 assists in 31 appearances for his side. This is coupled with a further 4 goals and 3 assists in the DFB Pokal. He has been very effective in terms of progressing the ball up the pitch with 6.19 progressive carries per 90 to his name, with 2.97 take-ons per 90 to match, painting him to be a very forward-thinking player.

Defensively, at least in terms of the numbers, Reese mainly excels in terms of his interceptions per 90 (0.82) which is pretty exemplary when it comes to players who play in the attacking midfield and wide positions Reese occupies. He isn’t the most efficient passer, however, with his pass completion percentage sitting at 66.4% per 90; which could be slightly worrying.

When one watches the player, however, taking all of these numbers into account, his attacking ability is 100% validated. The former German youth international has displayed an exceptional ability to get past his man this season, with deft flicks and quick footwork skills in a toolbox that also includes the ability to score goals from inside and outside of the box, as well as set up his teammates with a solid crossing technique. His 5.40 shot-creating chances per 90 could also help explain why his pass success percentage is lower than one would have expected, especially since he creates so much that perhaps his teammates don’t connect with when going for the ball. This could certainly change in a team like Dortmund, should he put up similar numbers.

The question then is, would Reese be a shrewd signing for Borussia Dortmund? The answer of course becomes very situational. If Dortmund were to retain both Malen and Sancho, then the wings would remain stacked with the likes of Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Karim Adeyemi also available to play there (and thats not taking youngsters like Paris Brunner, Cole Campbell and Julien Duranville into account either). Reese’s ability to play as an attacking midfielder does help in this vein now that Reus is leaving the club and that reinforcement will be necessary.

A deal for Reese will also have to do with how much Dortmund chooses to spend on any given incoming attacker. The club has also been linked with Mainz’s Brajan Gruda, which while likely being the more costly investment, is younger and likely has a higher potential ceiling, and occupies similar positions to Reese. In terms of bargain options, if Dortmund can spend no more than 7-8 million euros for his signature, Reese could end up being a very low-risk yet high-reward signing, especially if he can replicate his form for Hertha at the level required by the Bundesliga.

Currently valued at 5 million euros but with a contract until 2028, Hertha is unlikely to want to part ways with Reese at all, but if Dortmund were to be able to pry him away for less than 10 million euros, Reese’s performances could end up paying that fee off quite quickly. A lot will depend on the coming weeks and who ends up making room in the squad, and just how much Dortmund will choose to invest per departure. If they do look to put their faith in Reese, we may yet again have a bargain player from a Berlin-based side join the club, the way Julian Ryerson did from Union, and become an important player for this Dortmund side.