When Reinier Jesus arrived at Borussia Dortmund, then-coach Lucien Favre hailed the loan signing: “He’s nine and a half and can play the role of nine liar.”
However, in the past 15 months, Reinier has been mostly zero in the Bundesliga.
He has played 26 matches in black and yellow but has only one goal to his name and has only started two matches in all competitions.
What went wrong for the Brazilian wonderland that Real Madrid snapped up for €30m (£25m/$35m) in 2020?
Dortmund were in the race to sign Reinier from Flamengo after the Brazil youth international starred in the Brazilian First Division with six goals in 14 matches.
With him unlikely to break immediately in Madrid, a loan move to the German side seemed like a logical step to gain experience in one of Europe’s biggest leagues, especially as Dortmund are known for giving him a chance for youngsters.
Those opportunities have been very limited so far, with his first start coming on the final day of the season in 2020-21, with Dortmund already finishing fourth in the Bundesliga under interim coach Eden Terzic.
Reinier is already his third coach at Signal Iduna Park, with current coach Marco Rose giving the 19-year-old a start against second-tier side Ingolstadt at DFB-Pokal.
Dortmund advanced to the next round of the German Cup thanks to two goals from substitute Thorgan Hazard, with Reinier lasting a full 90 minutes for the first time at the club.
His performance failed to earn rave ratings because he was often guilty of overplaying the ball. In the next match, he returned to the bench, and did not take part in the league against Cologne.
Rose was without outstanding striker Erling Haaland in the match with Colin, but despite Reinier’s false nine credentials, he decided to start Hazard and Marco Reus in attack, with Stephen Tegues off the bench.
Striker Teges scored his first Bundesliga goal in the cameos, having previously only scored in Germany’s third tier for reserve team Dortmund and former employers Ingolstadt.
After the match, Rose praised the 23-year-old and said he was the club’s best replacement for Haaland, leaving Reinier in the dark about his future once again.
Brazilian father Mauro Brasilia believed Dortmund were not using Reinier properly, and felt he should use the teenager to control possession, claiming that something “very strange” was happening at the club.
“He can contribute to the team with his different style of play, which is very necessary in some matches,” Brasilia said. Goal. “He knows the idea of having the ball, controlling the game, like few others. It seems that Dortmund did not understand it, they did not realize this good choice.
“Despite this small delay in the start of his professional career in Europe, Reinier continues to be a reputable name at other big clubs, and every day Borussia miss out on the opportunity to develop and enjoy another talented young player.
“Something very strange is happening there. It’s a shame – for both sides!”
Dortmund had the opportunity to cut off the loan in January 2021, but decided to keep Reinier to see if he could break through under a new coach.
However, as that possibility appears unlikely now, he may be ready to leave in January 2022.
Benfica has been selected as a potential loan destination for the striker, as Real Madrid are eager to see him develop at a new club.
Dortmund are likely to acknowledge an early exit with sporting director Michael Zorc and his successor Sebastian Kehl as they have decided to agree to end the loan deal.
Benfica looks like the perfect place for Reinier to get his career back on track. The Portuguese team is coached by Jorge Jesus, the same man who caught Real Madrid’s attention while managing at Flamengo.
Until January, he will likely continue to warm up the bench at Signal Iduna Park.