On Saturday, Youssoufa Moukoko sent a clear message to Hansi Flick that he should be included in Germany’s 26-man squad for the World Cup. A brace in Borussia Dortmund’s 3-0 win against Bochum, all eyes were on the youngster who at 17 years and 350 days, become the youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach 10 league goals ahead of Florian Wirtz and Lukas Podolski.
Although yet to represent Germany at senior level, Moukoko made Flick’s provisional World Cup squad and following the recent ankle injury to RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner which has ruled him out of the tournament, this surely increases the chances of BVB’s young hitman making the squad.
Moukoko opened the scoring after just eight minutes, showcasing his strength to hold off the opposing defender, turning his man and driving forward before unleashing a powerful left-footed shot that cannoned in off of the crossbar. Gio Reyna then doubled Borussia Dortmund’s lead before Moukoko added his second – he showed composure and ability to use his weaker foot to lob the ball over Manuel Riemann, who was out of his area, from 35-yards.
If it wasn’t for Nico Schlotterbeck, Moukoko probably wouldn’t have took the shot on. Schlotterbeck said: “I told him a couple of weeks ago to shoot more. He should keep trying, even if the other players make a gesture that he shouldn’t do it.”
Post-match, Moukoko dodged questions on whether he would be included in Flick’s Germany squad, but received the highest of praise from Edin Terzic: “If someone improves Borussia Dortmund’s game, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes an issue for the national team. He seems fit and stable, is very self-confident and has improved his game significantly.”
With six goals and four assists in 12 Bundesliga games already this season, Moukoko has had to be patient to get to where he is now. Averaging a goal contribution every 58.7 minutes, he missed 28 games over the last two seasons. But now under Terzic, the 17-year-old is blossoming.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Moukoko makes Germany’s World Cup squad, due to be announced on November 10. Moukoko’s technical ability is special and he’s always playing with a smile on his face. Last week, Danny Röhl, assistant to Flick, alluded to the fact that Flick wants players who can play in various positions. And Moukoko can do just that. For now, Moukoko’s Germany dream is very much alive.
GGFN | Daniel Pinder