Borussia Dortmund's USMNT rising star Gio Reyna (l.) is Europe's most prolific teenager, while Florian Wirtz (r.) has already made quite the name for himself at Bayer Leverkusen. - © 2020 DFL
Borussia Dortmund's USMNT rising star Gio Reyna (l.) is Europe's most prolific teenager, while Florian Wirtz (r.) has already made quite the name for himself at Bayer Leverkusen. - © 2020 DFL

Borussia Dortmund's Gio Reyna and Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz lead Bundesliga's teenage talent show


Borussia Dortmund prodigy Gio Reyna provides the most goal threat of any teenager across Europe's top five leagues while Bayer Leverkusen's record-breaker Florian Wirtz has played more top-flight minutes than any of his teen counterparts continent-wide in the 2020/21 season.

Reyna, who turned 18 in November, opened his goalscoring account in the Bundesliga in the Matchday 1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach, and has since added two more — including a stunner in Dortmund's shock 5-1 loss to Stuttgart on Matchday 11 — in 13 top-flight appearances.

Add his four assists to that, and Reyna is the teen who has been involved in the most league goals across Europe's top five leagues this season with Wirtz - two goals, four assists - second.

Watch: Gio Reyna: like father and mother, like son

Cologne's Jan Thielmann — one goal and two assists — Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala with three goals, and Dortmund's Jude Bellingham with two assists are all in the top 10.

Add all those up, and Bundesliga teenagers have been involved in 23 goals this season, scoring 10 times themselves. That puts them well clear of their fresh-faced counterparts in France (13) and Spain (7). The English Premier League and Serie A are yet to see a teenager be involved in a top-flight goal in 2020/21.

No fewer than 19 players born after 2002 have turned out in the German top flight this season, a tally bettered only by the 20-team Ligue 1 in France. Teens have totalled no fewer than 4201 minutes on the pitch in the Bundesliga this season with Wirtz, 17, leading the way across the five top European divisions with 984 minutes spread over his 12 league appearances.

The Leverkusen wunderkind, who was recently ousted by Dortmund's 16-year-old scoring sensation Youssoufa Moukoko as the Bundesliga's youngest-ever goalscorer, has stepped into the void left by Kai Havertz's summer departure from the BayArena to Chelsea.

Watch: Youssoufa Moukoko becomes the Bundesliga's youngest-ever goalscorer

"Flo can do everything," explained Jörg Jakobs, academy director at Wirtz's former club Cologne, whom he left in January 2020 to join Leverkusen. "He's creative, has great technique, incredible game intelligence, is fast with the ball and is a great dribbler. If he stays fit, he's at least in the same category as Havertz."

"I'm delighted that he's already a key part of the team and is getting time on the pitch," added Leverkusen's iconic former CEO Reiner Calmund. "Although there is a lot of competition in that position, I'm convinced Florian will play for the senior national team and will develop towards being world class."

Wirtz has contributed two goals and four assists to Leverkusen's tally of 28 league strikes, almost a quarter of their total, and adds work ethic to his end-product covering an average of over seven miles per top-flight game. And all this while still attending school.

Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz juggles beating Bundesliga opponents with homework. - Pool/Sascha Steinbach - Pool/Getty Im

"He goes to school every morning at 7:30 until 9:30, then he's at the club by 9:45 and at 10:00 we begin preparing for training at 10:30," explained Die Werkself coach Peter Bosz. "Then it's lunchtime, time for a shower, and then he goes to school again for the rest of the afternoon. We have promised his parents that school is the most important thing right now."

Meanwhile, Reyna has played 890 minutes for Dortmund in the Bundesliga this term, the fourth-highest total of any teenager in Europe's top five leagues.

Along with the 17-year-old Bellingham, who has played 522 minutes of Bundesliga football in his maiden season in Germany, Reyna accounts for the majority of the 1730 minutes on the pitch Dortmund have given their fledgling stars, putting the club second only to French outfit Rennes (1932 minutes) in that particular statistic continent-wide.

The USMNT midfielder has already forced his way into the senior national team, and despite having only made his Dortmund debut in January this year, is now a bona fide member of the first team.

"I've played some big games," he wrote in The Players’ Tribune. "I've come out of my shell. I now demand the ball. I think the time has come for me to become one of the main players on the team.

"You see guys like [Jadon] Sancho and [Erling] Haaland - I want to be at their level. When I was playing for New York City, it was like 'Who is going to change the game for us?' And then they would look to give me the ball.

"I want that to happen at Dortmund. I know I can make that jump this season. I already feel like I'm becoming part of the new generation of big players. I don't want to become just a good American player. I want to consistently be one of the top 10 players in the world."

After being named the USMNT Young Player of the Year, Reyna has already taken one significant step towards his personal goal.