Borussia Dortmund are at the forefront in football when it comes developing talent. Whether that be through their academy such as Mario Götze and Marco Reus, or purchasing from others such as Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham, Die Schwarzgelben certainly have the eye when it comes to identifying stars of tomorrow.
The latest duo set to be added onto that list, and Football Index, are the attacking talents of Gio Reyna and Youssoufa Moukoko, who have both enjoyed breakthough seasons for the Bundesliga side.
Ahead of their introduction to the platform, here’s why both are seemingly must-haves for your Portfolio:
Journey to Dortmund
Son of Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan Reyna, both of whom were internationals for the US national team, Gio Reyna was actually born in the UK during his father’s spell at Sunderland, but when he moved to New York Red Bulls in 2007, it meant the now Dortmund starlet’s career began across the pond.
He joined New York City FC’s academy, where his father was sporting director, and quickly rose to prominence as quickly as he rose through the ranks, whether that be for club or country. His final season there saw him score 13 goals in 17 games for the U18/19s – at the age of just 16 – before leaving in 2019 for Dortmund, thanks in part to securing a Portuguese passport through his father’s side.
Part of the U19/20 squad for 2019/20, he was soon promoted to the first team during the winter break, before being his debut by recently-departed boss Lucien Favrein the Bundesliga as a second-half substitute in a 5-3 win over Augsburg – the same game Haaland scored a hat-trick on debut – surpassing Christian Pulisic in becoming the youngest American to debut in the Bundesliga in the process.
As for Moukoko, he grew up in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital, until the age of 10, before joining his father in Hamburg, where he eventually joined the academy of local side St. Pauli.
23 goals in just 13 games across two seasons however meant he wasn’t there for long, resulting in a move to Dortmund, where his proclivity to scoring goals only improved to the tune of 141 goals in 88 youth games with a call-up to the first team.
The talent had to bide his time however before making his first-team debut, which came just one day after turning 16 against Hertha Berlin, unsurprisingly becoming the Bundesliga’s youngest ever player.
Style of Play
Although he’s comfortable on either flank, Reyna does his best work in central areas of the pitch, preferably playing off a central striker.
It allows the 18-year-old to then pick his poison, either drop slightly deeper to thread passes to onrushing attackers or carry the ball at pace, or can make his way into the box and beyond the forward to score chances himself.
A tall, slight figure, the US international bares a resemblance to AC Milan and Brazil legend Kaka with how easily and efficiently he glides around across the pitch.
Meanwhile, Moukoko has unsurprisingly made his name as a central striker due to his goalscoring record at youth level. The 16-year-old possesses a calmness in front of goal far beyond his years, while it’s a similar compliment when it comes to both his movement and runs off the ball, and that’s before getting to his physical attributes such as his pace and low centre of gravity.
A precocious talent whose stock will rise considerably over the next decade, his size, stature and talents remind one of Sergio Aguero; a fine standard for the Germany U20 international to try and reach, and almost definitely surpass.
Season So Far
Despite Dortmund’s stuttering form in recent weeks, both have caught the eye on personal notes.
Only Haaland (10 goals, 2 assists) has been involved in more Bundesliga goals this season than Reyna (3 goals, 4 assists), while he’s started in 10 of his 13 league appearances so far, compared to just two in 2019/20.
His highlight of the season is undoubtedly Dortmund’s 4-0 win over Freiburg in early-October; a game that saw Reyna provide three assists, two of which were delicate through-balls finished by Haaland.
Having to wait until his 16th birthday, it’s meant Moukoko has only made seven league and Champions League appearances so far, becoming the youngest player to appear in both competition in the process.
Despite BVB suffering a 2-1 defeat to Union Berlin in their final Bundesliga game before the Ruckrunde, it was a special game for him with a well-taken first senior goal for the club; an explosive finish on the angle that will likely lead to more opportunities for the rest of the season.
Both Reyna and Moukoko are likely to feature regularly for Dortmund both this season and beyond, as head coach Edin Terzic takes the reigns at the Signal Iduna Park.
There’s a very winnable last 16 Champions League tie to look forward to against Sevilla in the New Year, as well as getting Dortmund back into the top four, as well as the title picture.
Beyond that, there’s the 2022 World Cup that Reyna will be hoping to be part of with the USA, who have a host of young talents across Europe that could make them a threat including Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Segino Dest, Josh Sargent and Timothy Weah.
While this summer’s Euros could be too soon for Moukoko – although stranger things have happened – whose not to say that he could force his way into Germany’s squad for the World Cup.
As the old saying goes, if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
Why They Will Perform Well on Football Index
At 18 and 16, both Reyna and Moukoko are certainly Portfolio additions with a view for the long-term.
With Moukoko breaking records left, right and centre, he will certainly command plenty of column inches during his career, earning Media Dividends as a result, while his aforementioned goalscoring exploits means Match Day and In-Play Dividends should be just a formality.
As for Reyna, he is already one of Dortmund’s leading stars this season who will only become better, with performance-based Dividends (Match Day and In-Play) more likely for the attacking star.
Both however are seemingly in the perfect place for their fledging careers, as the latest stars of tomorrow off the Dortmund conveyer belt.