PROSPECT | Mickaël Cuisance

Bayern Munich midfielder Mickaël Cuisance celebrated his first Bayern goal on the same day he won his first Bundesliga Championship on Saturday. The 20-year-old, to say the least, has had quite the month starting in three out of this last four matches, scoring an absolutely stunning goal with his left foot against Wolfsburg on the final matchday. Cuisance’s name on the team sheet may have come as a surprise to some. So, how did the young Frenchmen get here?

My first memory of Cuisance comes in 2018 in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship. It was then and there the name Mickaël Cuisance went on my list of young players to watch. As I always do, I went straight to Twitter to follow Mickaël and to my surprise, he was still a bit of an unknown in terms of a following. That has all changed now being a Bayern starter and rising star.

The 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championship did not result in any silverware for France, but as always, it rolled out the red carpet for the stars to come, with Cuisance being one of them. No match displayed more future talent for me than Italy vs France. I live for the players who look to stay on their feet when challenged and play with their heart. Cuisance had a hunger for his game which is the first sign I look for in a future star.

Put differently, in a match that had Moise Kean, Moussa Diaby and Amine Gouiri, it is no easy task to make your presence felt and yet, Cuisance was able to stand out amongst them. So much so that he earned his name on the UEFA European Under-19 Championship Team of the Tournament. 

Fast forward to today, Cuisance has been a Swiss army knife for then Borussia Mönchengladbach and now Bayern Munich. His last three Bundesliga matches under Hansi Flick has seen the youngster being deployed as an attacking-midfielder, winger, and a defensive midfielder. In all three matches, Cuisance has been able to highlight his passing and vision. His improvement over the three matches was impressive in terms of holding his positioning in three different roles and managing the game. It may be said Cuisance was least effective at winger against SC Freiburg, but only at first glance. Cuisance seemed anxious in decision-making leading to a few poor finishes, but that can be expected with a young player and in an unfamiliar position. 

With that said, Cuisance was aggressive and started an excellent run that led to Robert Lewandowski’s second goal against SC Freiburg. Any jitters he had were swept away against Wolfsburg. For his third start, Cuisance took his talents to the deeper role of defensive midfielder. What he lacked in defensive ability he made up for with ruthless aggression and desire for the ball. Despite being played in a defensive role, the Frenchman was not only able to score an incredible goal, but also drew a penalty in the box to add a bit of icing to the cake. 

Cuisance’s ability to be utilised in such a wide array of positioning has opened eyes across Europe. One of those eyes is Olympique de Marseille. The temporary move could be an interesting option for Cuisance and OM, if seen through. So, why would Bayern let him go? Well, the Bundesliga giants may not have a place in the starting XI next season, even in his current form. Flick’s preference to play Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka with Thomas Müller and Thiago all vying for a starting birth, a place in the current Bayern side may be hard to come by,

On the other hand, if Cuisance goes to OM, the Ligue 1 club will get a player that can fill almost any midfield role Andre Villas-Boas can think of and if AVB wants to get fancy, he could even give the youngster a try at secondary striker or winger.

If Bayern Munich decide to let Cuisance go on a season-long loan, it may be difficult to find a better club than OM for Cuisance to land. At OM, Cuisance has a fair chance at consistent playing time and European football. If the run he’s had is enough that Bayern decide they want him to stay, it is simply proof of the confidence they have in his ability to perform at the highest level. So either way it goes, all is well for Mickaël Cuisance and in a football world where players are skyrocketed to superstar it is refreshing to see the young star work his way up the ladder.

Anthony Sarver.

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