'Similar to Pulisic, or maybe a bit better' - Heinrich says Dortmund are being cautious with Reyna

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Giovanni Reyna USA 05022019Roy K. Miller

Former Borussia Dortmund assistant coach Jorg Heinrich says that American midfielder Giovanni Reyna is a "fantastic talent" that could someday be even better than Christian Pulisic.

Reyna, son of U.S. men's national team legend Claudio, joined Dortmund this summer as a 16-year-old, having broken out with the U.S. and New York City FC youth teams.

The attacker earned a spot on Borussia Dortmund's preseason and Champions League rosters, but has featured primarily for the club's U-19 squad, while rapidly becoming one of America's more exciting prospects.

Reyna is set to join the U.S. U-17s for the upcoming U-17 World Cup, having scored six goals in six matches during CONCACAF qualifying.

Heinrich, a two-time Bundesliga winner with and 1997 Champions League winner with Dortmund, previously served as an assistant coach under former boss Peter Stoger and is now an ambassador for the club.

Having seen Reyna's growth since joining the club in July, Heinrich insists that Dortmund will ease Reyna into action, even if he has already shown promise similar to that displayed by Pulisic when he came through the club's youth side.

"Gio is a fantastic talent. I think we are being a little bit cautious about his development," Heinrich told Goal while in Australia visiting the academy Dortmund runs with National Premier League club Marconi.

"We don’t want to get him on the pitch regularly until he is definitely ready. He has loads of potential along with plenty of confidence.

"I think his talent is similar to Christian Pulisic, or maybe a little bit better. But we want to keep him grounded because we’ve seen what happens to a lot of the young players."

Pulisic signed with Dortmund in February 2015 and made his first-team debut one year later.

The USMNT midfielder rapidly became a fixture for Dortmund, making 43 appearances in his first two full seasons with the club.

Following the rise of Jadon Sancho during the 2018 season, Pulisic saw a slight dip in playing time, but sealed a £58 million ($71m) move to Chelsea in January while spending the rest of the season on loan with Dortmund.

Reyna, meanwhile, will be focused on the first match of the U-17 World Cup as the U.S. take on Senegal on Sunday.