In our weekly Scout feature, we take a deep dive into an emerging player on track to become a footballing superstar before our very eyes.
This week’s edition focuses on Bayern Munich sensation Jamal Musiala, a player catching the eye of Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City.
Musiala, 17, is a German-born English sensation who has developed a penchant for breaking records at Bayern Munich.
The teenager was snapped up from Chelsea’s youth academy in the summer of 2019. Barely 18 months later, this move is already beginning to look like the steal of the century.
Musiala became Bayern’s youngest ever Bundesliga player when afforded his debut in the latter stages of last season at just 17 years and 115 days old.
The history books continued to be re-written when he became the club’s youngest ever league goalscorer after rounding out Bayern’s 8-0 demolition of Schalke on opening day.
Gnabry & Sane’s reaction when Jamal Musiala scored 8th goal against Schalke 😂😂
Many of us also react the same when we humiliate our Rivals in our neighbourhood 😂 pic.twitter.com/HoRNkkqTiF
— Celestial Football (@CelestialFutbal) September 21, 2020
Fully aware of his limitless potential, Bayern have reportedly put irons in the fire regarding a fresh contract that could soon see him pocket a base salary of £100,000-per-week.
Why the hype?
Despite his age and a squad bursting at the seams with superstar talent, Musiala has appeared in all but three of Bayern’s league matches this season.
Three goals have been notched from just 314 minutes of action. But the fact Bayern boss Hansi Flick has thrust the youngster into the starting line-up ahead of players the calibre of Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso on occasion speaks volumes.
Musiala has transitioned effortlessly into the European Champions’ squad. Furthermore, his direct approach and mesmeric feet have added a new dimension to the central midfield ranks.
His first appearances, however, came out on the wing. His turn of pace and ability to beat defenders one-on-one will surely see him make an advanced position his own as his career progresses.
He also boasts a rapid-fire change of direction while travelling at full tilt. Within a flash, Musiala can turn what appeared to be a non-threatening passage of play into a make-or-break action for defences.
Assume his threat is contained at your peril.
Reminds you of a young…?
Standing at a rangy 5’ 11’, Musiala’s close control and mazy solo runs bring back memories of a recent Bayern great – Arjen Robben.
The Dutch flyer was one of the most predictable footballers in recent memory. But what good is knowing what someone will do if you’re incapable of stopping it anyway?
Robben would frequently tease defenders with a handful of short touches before darting inside and unleashing a strike to devastating effect.
Musiala has demonstrated this deadly scenario when deployed on the wing, but his recent appearances have come in central areas.
Without the aid of the touchline to help curb his threat, we send our condolences to the Bundesliga backlines.
Every professional footballer can dribble with the ball. Even the most limited of centre-halves can take it round an overzealous marker and retain possession on his day.
But what separates the game’s great dribblers from the vast majority is their ability to beat a man and remain balanced and controlled enough to be able to beat markers two and three.
In a DFB Pokal tie against FC Duren, Musiala displayed the type of mesmeric solo run that will put the fear of life into defenders for years to come.
Throwback to Jamal Musiala’s solo run in the DFB Pokal 😍 pic.twitter.com/Si0ZUY912a
— Musiala Report ➐ (@MusialaReport) December 4, 2020
The Experts’ View
Endorsements in German football don’t come much bigger than from Lothar Matthaus.
The legendary figure knows a thing or two about what it takes to succeed at Bayern. When speaking to Sky in Germany about Musiala’s potential stardom, Matthaus likened him to none other than himself.
“Sometimes he plays as a six, sometimes eight or ten,” said Matthaus (via Bundesliga.com)
“He reminds me a lot of another player.” When pushed by the interviewer on the identity of said player, he responded: “He’s sitting very close to you.”
Hansi Flick’s star-studded side secured a memorable treble last season. Despite that, he recently highlighted the value and key attributes Musiala has added to his trophy-laden squad.
“Jamal plays in Munich in a team packed with top players. He’s highly valued by these players too because he’s very calm on the ball and has a lot of quality. In one-on-one situations he’s difficult to stop as well.”
Tell us something we don’t know…
Musiala is currently the centrepiece in an age-old battle between England and Germany.
Born and raised in Stuttgart before moving to England at seven, Musiala is eligible to represent both nations.
In 2018 he performed the unique feat of appearing for both countries’ youth teams at Under-16 level.
Since then, Musiala has gone on to represent England at U17s. He most recently turned out for the U21s in a goalscoring appearance versus Albania in November.
Don’t let this one slip Gareth.
Has been linked with?
Bayern are fully aware of the coup they pulled off when snatching the player from Chelsea’s academy. However, his contract is set to expire in just 18 months. Time is therefore of the essence in their efforts to secure him to a long-term deal.
Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City are said to be readying the battlements to land the youngster soon. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp in particular was stated by the Daily Mail to be a ‘big time admirer’.