Reus was born in Dortmund,North Rhine-Westphalia. He began to play football for his hometown club Post SV Dortmund in 1994 and joined the youth ranks of Borussia Dortmund in 1996. He played for Borussia Dortmund until he left for the U-19 of Rot Weiss Ahlen in the summer of 2006. During his first year there the attacking midfielder was featured in five games for the club's second team which played in the Westphalia league at the time. He scored a goal in each of his first two games. The following year he was able to break into Ahlen's first team which played in the German third division at the time. He started twice and was featured in 14 matches, scoring two times. One of his goals came on the last day of the season and helped his team being promoted to the 2. Bundesliga.
In 2008–09, the then 19 year old had his definitive breakthrough as a professional football player. He played in 27 games and scored four times. On 25 May 2009, he signed a four-year contract with Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach.
On 28 August 2009, Reus scored his first Bundesliga goal in a game against Mainz 05 after a 50 metre solo run, and since then became a prolific goalscorer for his club under Lucien Favre.
At the start of the 2011–12 season, Reus began the season in fine form, scoring seven goals in twelve matches. Reus' contract with Gladbach was set to expire in 2015 and reportedly had a buy-out clause of €18 million.
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