Eberl's keen eye for a player has helped turn Gladbach from a Bundesliga 2 team into a top-flight force.
Eberl's keen eye for a player has helped turn Gladbach from a Bundesliga 2 team into a top-flight force.

Max Eberl: The man who turns Foals into thoroughbreds

Many a Foal has become a thoroughbred under the watch of Borussia Mönchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl down the years - most notably Marco Reus, Juan Arango, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Granit Xhaka.

bundesliga.com puts Eberl's acute eye for talent and astute fiscal mind under the microscope.

Marco Reus

Watch: Reus' journey:

When you look at Marco Reus now, it is hard to believe that he was let go by Borussia Dortmund at the age of 16.

Thankfully, he didn't throw in the towel. After working his way back up through the ranks of Rot Weiss Ahlen - scoring four Bundesliga 2 goals in his breakthrough campaign in 2008/09 - the fleet-footed attacker was picked up by Gladbach.

"I remember how Hans Meyer asked me about signing Marco Reus," Eberl recalled.

"'Max, don't you think 800,000 euros for a Bundesliga 2 player who's scored four goals is a lot of money?'

"If a Hans Meyer says something like that, then you could be unsure. But I was totally convinced by Marco. My gut told me that we would buy potential here, even if 800,000 euros at that time for Gladbach was a lot of money."

And so it proved. Reus' stock grew exponentially at Gladbach, whom he helped steer clear of relegation in 2011 before firing them to a fourth-placed finish 12 months later.

The Foals reluctantly cashed in on their prized asset that summer, as Reus returned to hometown club Dortmund, 36 goals better off - his transformation from skinny BVB outcast to Bundesliga megastar complete. Fast forward five years, and he’s still going strong for club and country.

Juan Arango

Watch: Arango's Top 5 goals!:

Another Eberl coup snapped up from relative obscurity, Juan Arango went on to enjoy cult status after joining Gladbach from Mallorca in 2009.

Even Lucien Favre, head coach at the time, admitted to having his doubts, but the Venezuelan repaid the club's faith with some unforgettable strikes.

His maiden Gladbach goal came in trademark spectacular fashion - on his Bundesliga debut no less - and was the first of 25 goals in 144 Bundesliga appearances.

He was also one of the league's best providers during his five-season spell at the BORUSSIA-PARK, creating 48 goals at an average of almost one every three matches.

"We're very proud and happy that Juan spent five years here with us," Eberl commented after the left-footed wizard moved to Mexico's Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente in summer 2014. "He's a fantastic footballer, who's given us a lot of joy and scored many a wonderful goal."

Favre even went as far as to label him as "the best left-footed footballer in the world".

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Granit Xhaka

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