Should Real Madrid end Reinier’s loan with Dortmund this summer?

Dortmund, Reinier, Erling Haaland (Photo by Friedemann Vogel - Pool/Getty Images)
Dortmund, Reinier, Erling Haaland (Photo by Friedemann Vogel - Pool/Getty Images) /

Erling Haaland is the Borussia Dortmund player on the mind of most Real Madrid fans right now after his second brace against Sevilla in the Champions League and a brace earlier this weekend at Bayern Munich. But Madridistas should also be thinking about another one of his current teammates. No, I’m not talking about fellow superstar Jadon Sancho. I’m talking about potential future superstar Reinier Jesus.

Reinier’s start to life in Dortmund has been nondescript, to say the least. The Brazilian prospect has not even logged 150 minutes in all competitions for the Black and Yellows, as he’s been off the squad entirely more often than he’s been on the pitch.

Recently, Reinier gave Madridistas some hope for better in this two-year loan spell by scoring in a 10-minute appearance off the bench against lowly Arminia Bielefeld to help seal a 3-0 victory for the struggling Schwarzgelben.

But as a whole, Reinier has been an afterthought in Dortmund. Real Madrid have shown concern about his development due to the lack of playing time, and there are many fans who have either already given up on the attacking midfielder or are adamant that he be moved somewhere else upon the conclusion of the season.

Sending Reinier somewhere else does not guarantee improvement for the Real Madrid loanee

Firstly, giving up on a 19-year-old just because he’s had trouble getting minutes in a side that features a lot of attacking talent is an unreasonable course of action. Reinier is an imperfect player, and his lack of minutes on an up-and-down team suggests that he’s not quite there yet.

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But look at Takefusa Kubo. He was getting benched by Unai Emery for not following instructions, particularly defensively. Real Madrid didn’t like that and moved him over Getafe. And he’s still in the same situation.

Changing up Reinier’s loan does not guarantee improvement. If there’s one club that has shown a willingness to bet on young talent, even loanees, then it is Dortmund. We all saw how Achraf Hakimi became a legitimate star player in the Bundesliga during his time with the club.

He had an easier path to the starting lineup as a fullback, but he actually struggled a lot in his first season and did not regularly play at his preferred position on the right. It was only in his second season that he blossomed.

Perhaps the same could happen with Reinier. Look, Dortmund didn’t acquire him for no reason. They don’t waste their time or resources on young players who can’t play, and they definitely would not run the risk of ticking off Real Madrid, whom they need to have a good relationship both for the young talent they acquire and the top players they want to sell to the Royal Whites.

So there has to be something at play here. And I wonder if Dortmund are playing the long game with Reinier, setting up a bigger second season for him.

At the end of the 2020-2021 season, Dortmund will almost certainly have to sell Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, and that hypothetical becomes a guarantee if they truly do fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Yes, that means there will be space opening up for Reinier. Real Madrid should be vigilant and keep their options open, maybe even put out feelers to La Liga clubs who may be interested and carefully study their proposals for Reinier (as opposed to sending him off to the biggest club, which seemed to be their strategy with Kubo last summer.)

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But Real should not be too quick to make a move, lest they miss out on Reinier putting it all together in his second season with Dortmund and instead send him off to a middling, less-competent club that also fails to prioritize his playing time.