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Rising star Reus set to rule as striker

May 29, 2012

BERLIN:  Having been dubbed one of the Bundesliga’s players of the season by German coach Joachim Loew, Marco Reus could find himself in a striking role at Euro 2012.

Reus turns 23 on Thursday when Germany host Israel in a Euro warm-up match in Leipzig and Loew is considering playing the attacking midfielder as an out-and-out striker in the tournament.

“In the national team, he is still trying to earn his spurs but in the Bundesliga he was certainly one of the players of the season,” said Loew of Reus, who only made his Germany debut last October.

“I would like to see him play right up front as a striker. He hasn’t played there yet but for me it is worth considering. I am sure he could do well there and we have time to try it in training.”

Loew will go into Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine with Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez and Lazio’s Miroslav Klose as his first-choice strikers.

Klose will turn 34 the day Germany open their Group B campaign against Portugal on June 9 and with his record of 63 goals in 114 appearances, he is Loew’s first choice when fully fit.

But Reus — who scored in a second-string German side’s 5-3 warm-up defeat by Switzerland on Saturday — has forced his way into Loew’s thinking as an option up front on the back of a stellar season with Borussia Moenchengladbach.

He scored 18 goals in 32 league games as Gladbach were in the title race until the final few weeks. They eventually finished fourth, earning them a tilt at a Champions League group stage spot via qualifying early next season.

After three seasons at Borussia Moenchengladbach, Reus is now on his way to join German league and cup winners Borussia Dortmund next season, the club where he began his career as a seven-year-old.

With a superb range of passes and great pace, Reus has spent the season playing just behind Gladbach striker Mike Hanke and often finds himself in a forward position for his club either on the right wing or in the middle.

“If he wants to test it, I’m open to anything we may like to try,” Reus told the German sports news agency SID, in reply to Loew’s suggestion.

“I have already practically played there for my club as I am always alternating with Mike Hanke, so I don’t think it will be a problem.”

There is certainly plenty of competition for places in Germany’s attack.

With Loew playing three attacking midfielders behind a single striker, Leverkusen’s Andre Shuerrle is putting Arsenal’s new signing Lukas Podolski under pressure to keep his place on the left side.

Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil and Dortmund’s teenage rising star Mario Goetze are vying for the central berth, while the right wing has been dominated by Thomas Mueller. Now Reus is in the fray.

Loew is set to drop four players for his final Euro 2012 squad to be named on May 29 but the coach has already hinted neither Goetze nor Reus, with just 16 caps between them, need lose sleep over their places.

“I think they could both play more than just a role off the bench,” said the German coach.



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