"Give this guy a round of applause!" Gio Reyna (l.) has a big fan in Borussia Dortmund teammate Erling Haaland (r.). - © imago
"Give this guy a round of applause!" Gio Reyna (l.) has a big fan in Borussia Dortmund teammate Erling Haaland (r.). - © imago

"Gio Reyna can go right to the top" - Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland


US teenager Gio Reyna has what it takes to become one of the best players in the world, according to Borussia Dortmund teammate Erling Haaland.

Reyna was promoted to the Dortmund senior side during the 2019/20 winter break, after registering four goals and seven assists in 12 outings for the U19s.

Like January signing Haaland, the 17-year-old made his Bundesliga debut from the bench in the Matchday 18 win at Augsburg on 18 January. Haaland has gone on to score 12 times in 11 games, while Reyna has appeared in a further 10 first-team matches.

Watch: Gio Reyna - living the dream at Dortmund

The US youth international scored his maiden professional goal in the DFB Cup last-16 loss to Werder Bremen on 4 February, before usurping former BVB star Christian Pulisic not only as the youngest Dortmund player to feature in the UEFA Champions League, but the greenest American to play and assist a goal in the tournament, thanks to his cute pass for Haaland in the Black-Yellows' last-16 first leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

"Gio's the American dream," Haaland told ESPN. "He's 17-and-a-half soon, so in such a young age to be so calm on the ball and play for such a big team, it's very fascinating to see how calm he is and he doesn't care about anything, he just jumps right into it. He can go right to the top."

Haaland also singled out Jadon Sancho for praise. The Dortmund winger set up Haaland's debut Bundesliga goal, and earlier this season became the first player across Europe's five major leagues to hit double figures for goals and assists.

Prior to the COVID 19-enforced hiatus, he had had a direct hand in more goals than any other Bundesliga player (14 goals and 15 assists).

"He's a fantastic player, and the stats don't lie, what he's been doing for us this season, so he's a fantastic player and he will become even better," Haaland said of 20-year-old Sancho. "We're lucky to have him here."

The budding trio of Haaland, Reyna and Sancho have helped propel Dortmund to within four points of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. The Black Yellows have taken 21 points from 24 on offer in 2020, and still have a home game against Bayern to come, should the season get the green light to restart.

Watch: The best of Jadon Sancho

Haaland - who is the first player in history to score nine goals in his first six Bundesliga matches - says playing in a side chock-full of top-level talent is at the heart of his explosive start.

"I feel I'm improving every day and now that I play with even better teammates than what I played with in Salzburg - all respect to Salzburg - but yeah, they can find me in even better situations and this, so yeah it's been good," the Norwegian explained.

"It's been a very good start and from my debut I've been enjoying it a lot. It's been a good few months."