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PROSPECT | Jamal Musiala

After scoring two goals for Bayern Munich II in 3. Liga in mid-week, attacker Jamal Musiala continues to go from stride to stride in his development with the German giants. Signed from Premier League outfit Chelsea last summer, alongside fellow teenager Bright Arrey-Mbi, Musiala has represented both England and Germany during his brief international career to date. But just how good could the youngster turn out to be and which country will win the race for his signature on the international stage?

Born in the German city of Fulda in 2003, Musiala is a German-born English attacker who currently plies his trade with Bavarian giants Bayern Munich. Despite still being only 17-years-old, his fledgling career has not been short of drama to date. After moving to England whilst his mother studied in the country, Musiala was spotted by Chelsea scouts during a football tournament in Southampton in early 2011. Joining the former Premier League champions from TSV Lehnerz back in 2011, Musiala attended Whitgift school in south Croydon when he arrived in London. With notable school alumni including former and current blues players Callum Hudson-Odoi, Victor Moses and Bertrand Traoré, it’s clear to see why he joined the school at the age of 8.

Enjoying a good education at the London school alongside his development with Chelsea on the football pitch, Musiala quickly blossomed into a natural number ten, capable of excellent link up play with the players around him. Due to his rapid development, his debut for Chelsea’s U18 side came during the 2017/18 season in a 2-2 draw against London rivals Arsenal. Although the young English forward didn’t score or provide an assist during the match, he was selected in the starting eleven by manager James Simmonds and demonstrated a level of maturity well beyond his young age. It would prove to be his only appearance that season for the Blues but after another season of strong performances in training, Musiala would feature in two more matches towards the end of the following season.

Alongside his career with Chelsea, Musiala was taking giant leaps with the English national side. At the age of 13, the attacking midfielder was capped by the England U15 side before going on to make 9 appearances for the U16’s where he scored three goals and assisted twice. In October 2018, the youngster made two appearances for Germany U16’s due to his dual English and German citizenship however, Musiala has now gone on to make eight appearances for England’s U17 team since. With the ability to sign a contract with either national side, it will be intriguing to see who Musiala decides to represent in the future on the world stage.

After impressing for Chelsea in training and in his limited appearances with the U18 side, the London side reportedly offered Musiala a new long-term contract in the summer of 2019. The attacker refused the deal and instead decided to move to German powerhouse Bayern Munich a few weeks later after being impressed with the three-year offer the Bavarians had put on the table. The news came as a significant blow to Chelsea who were in the midst of a transfer ban at the time and although the Blues received some compensation in the deal, it wasn’t much for a player they saw a lot of potential in. Joining up with the academy at the famous FC Bayern Campus, Musiala has not looked back since and has in recent weeks started to really assert his presence playing for Bayern Munich II with some eye-catching performances.

Since his move from Chelsea last summer, Musiala has enjoyed taking that next step in his development. Making his debut for the German sides U17 team in August, the Englishman has been deployed largely as an attacking midfielder during his stint in Germany to date but has also seen minutes playing as an all-out striker. Coached by legendary striker Miroslav Klose during his early days with the Bayern U17 side before Klose joined the first-team coaching staff, Musiala played 12 matches in B-Junioren Bundelsiga SÜD/SÜDWEST, scoring six times in the process. The English attacker average a goal or assist every 105 minutes as a member of Bayern’s U17 squad.

His strong performances with the U17’s earned him a call up to Bayern’s U19 squad in December for their UEFA Youth League tie with Tottenham. Since then, Musiala has not returned to play for the U17’s but has further excelled up the Bayern ranks after more tremendous form. With 8 matches under his belt for Bayern’s U19 squad, the forward was again promoted, this time to the Bayern Munich II squad just prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

In May, after the resumption of the Bundesliga was confirmed, it was reported that Musiala had trained twice with the Bayern Munich first time alongside Robert Lewandowski and Co. The attacking midfielder warmed up with the squad before taking part in passing and shooting exercises with the other forwards. The session was watched by chief scout Marco Neppe and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, amongst others, who were said to both have been impressed with what they saw from the English youth international.

As a result, on the 3rd of June this year, the 17-year-old forward came on as a substitute for Bayern II in the 80th minute to make his professional debut against Preußen Münster. Six days later, Musiala would score his first professional goal, followed shortly by his second, in a match against FSV Zwickau. His first would be an emphatic strike into the right-hand side of the goal from just inside the box, his second similar but this time flying in courtesy of a huge deflection. In the process, Musiala became the second youngest goal scorer in the history of the 3. Liga at 17 years and 98 days.

It caps off a fantastic year for the youngster who has made a very big impression in the Bayern academy and could yet still feature in the first team squad before the end of the Bundesliga season.

Nathan Evans.

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