Joseph-Claude Gyau - A Rising Star?
As promised a few days ago, Schwatzgelb.com is going to examine U23 new signing Joseph-Claude Gyau. Unfortunately the midfielder suffered a meniscus injury on Friday, when he made it to the USA starting XI for the second time in his career. He will probably miss until January. Nevertheless, it is worth to have a closer look on Gyau:
This summer Borussia Dortmund signed Joseph-Claude “Joe” Gyau to strengthen their U23 team in Germany's third highest division. The 22-year-old US-American footballer switched to Dortmund from Hoffenheim, where he already appeared in the Bundesliga two times, towards the end of the last campaign. The Westphalians introduced him as a versatile and fast offensive midfielder, with a lot of development potential. Even though he was primarily intended for the U23, Gyau made also his debuts for BVB in Bundesliga as well as for USA head coach Jürgen Klinsmann's team.
But first a short glimpse back.
Gyau was born in Tampa (Florida) in 1992 and is also of Ghanaian descent. His father, Philip, was capped six times for the USMNT in the late 80’s and early 90’s, while his grandfather, Joseph, played for Ghana. Aged only 17, Gyau left the US for Hoffenheim’s reserve in the summer of 2010. At that time, the current BVB under-23 head coach, and former USMNT international, David Wagner was coaching in the TSG’s youth academy.
In summer 2012, Gyau, now 19, was loaned out to FC. St. Pauli but was not able to leave his mark at Hamburg. In his 15 appearances that season, only five of them as a starter, going the full ninety minutes only once, he provided only one assist and failed to find the back of the net for the Bundesliga II side.
“When I returned to Hoffenheim in 2013, they said that they would no longer rely on me,” Joe Gyau said in a recent goal.com interview. “I already spoke with BVB U23 coach David Wagner, but suddenly Hoffenheim wanted to keep me,” he added.
Nevertheless, they were not able to change Gyau's mind and so he joined Borussia Dortmund after another year at Hoffenheim. "From the outside looking in, things looked great with Hoffenheim, playing a couple Bundesliga appearances at the end,” Gyau told MLSSOCCER.com in August. "But there were a number of things going on in the club that were not right, so when I had this chance I really wanted it to happen. And on top of that, coach Wagner really believes in me, so it was a no-brainer."
Furthermore, the fact that Borussia Dortmund offer the possibility to play in UEFA Champions League as well as in front of a much bigger crowd might have been a reason, too. On his own attitude he says: "I try not to put pressure on myself with expectations. I just try to execute what coach Klopp and coach Wagner have told me, and when I do that I should be fine."
Right now it seems that the hard work pays off. During the home match against VfB Stuttgart (FT 2-2) Joseph Gyau made his debut for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. And while, of course, that was also down to Dortmund’s never-ending injury problems, it put the attacking midfielder into the spotlight.
His performances in BVB 23 also speak for volumes. In 8 matches he made it eight times into the starting XI and can be called a key player. Schwatzgelb.com's U23 experts Jens Weber and Malte Dürr give an insight on how Gyau is getting on so far:
“In my opinion Gyau was one of the reasons for the pleasant start of BVB U23. Together with Narey he whirled on the right wing. Both players are extremely fast and complemented each other,” Weber said. “Besides his speed his major strength is his directness in terms of the box. He often moves inside from the right side of pitch for a shot or to create an assist for one of his teammates,” the expert added.
“Compared to Jonas Hofmann [who played the same position], he's probably weaker in respect of technique but more straightforward. Unfortunately Jürgen Klopp needed him during the last weeks, which is a big thing for such a young player, but he was really missed at U23.”
Malte Dürr, as always (Article on Junior Flores), seems to be more skeptical: “He's switching between genius and insanity. Once in a while he is whirling on the pitch, has a lot of ideas and creativity and sometimes there are a lot of bad passes, lethargy and he totally disappears on the pitch.”
Dürr also raised the question whether the USMNT international can break into Dortmund’s side, after his “failures” at his former clubs in Germany, maybe following an old line of argumentation, which has proven worthless at BVB in recent years, just looking at the examples of Erik Durm, Oliver Kirch or Lukasz Piszczek, now one of the club’s all-time greatest full backs, but joining Borussia as one of those responsible for Hertha BSC’s relegation in 2010.
Joe Gyau is surely one of the most promising prospect Borussia Dortmund has to offer at the moment. We will keep an eye on him.