UCL 2022: Jamal Musiala, the teenage jewel in Bayern’s midfield


When Bayern Munich face Villarreal away within the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie Wednesday, Jamal Musiala might be deployed as both an attacking or defensive midfielder

When Bayern Munich face Villarreal away within the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie Wednesday, Jamal Musiala might be deployed as both an attacking or defensive midfielder

He solely turned 19 in February, however Jamal Musiala is proving to be the versatile teenage jewel in Bayern Munich’s midfield who turned down Chelsea in favor of a return to his native Germany.

When Bayern face Villarreal away within the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie Wednesday, Musiala might be deployed both as an attacking or defensive midfielder.

“He can enrich any team – including Bayern Munich and the national team,” stated Germany head coach Hansi Flick.

“He knows how to assert himself, creates space, is very good in one-on-ones and can dribble at speed.”

Musiala broke into Bayern’s first staff final season as an attacking midfielder with an eye fixed for a defense-splitting go.

He was born in Stuttgart, however moved along with his household to England as a toddler and rose by Chelsea’s academy earlier than becoming a member of Bayern in 2019.

Despite taking part in for England Under-21s in 2020, he opted to play senior soccer for Germany.

His full debut for the four-time world champions adopted in March 2021.

Last September, Germany legend Lothar Matthaeus stated Musiala can turn out to be “a second Neymar”, after {the teenager} dazzled with a aim and help off the bench as Bayern hammered RB Leipzig.

Nicknamed ‘Bambi’

The lanky teen has been dubbed “Bambi” by team-mates, however he is proven a extra combative facet since switching to a deeper function for each Bayern and Germany in current weeks.

“He pinched a lot of balls,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann stated after Musiala got here on to assist Bayern to a 4-1 win at Freiburg on Saturday.

“They name him ‘Bambi’, however he has good aggressiveness.”

Nagelsmann revealed that Musiala “thought I was joking” when suggesting before Christmas that he try playing in a more defensive position.

It has turned out to be an inspired move with Musiala slotting in when a hip injury sidelined Leon Goretzka for four months.

Flick started Musiala as an attacking midfielder in Germany’s 2-0 friendly win over Israel, then dropped him back down the pitch, where he stayed for last week’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands.

Musiala is humble enough to know he has much to learn from both Flick and Nagelsmann.

“In the number six role, I have to be a bit more clever with more discipline,” said Musiala.

“I’ve done well recently, but I still have much to improve on.”

Musiala got stuck into the central midfield battle in Amsterdam against an experienced Oranje side and held his own against Barcelona star Memphis Depay.

“He can keep hold of the ball in the tightest of spaces,” said Ilkay Gundogan, who partnered Musiala against the Dutch.

“Although he appears to be like lanky, he’s so clever to all the time use his physique in the appropriate approach.”

‘Ball magnet’

For Bayern, Nagelsmann charges Musiala as the primary option to function simply behind Robert Lewandowski at any time when Thomas Mueller is unavailable.

Yet the Bayern boss sees Musiala as the proper hybrid midfielder, a “ball magnet with technical skills only a few have” in protection or assault.

Nagelsmann says Musiala should nonetheless undergo a “maturing process” and may nonetheless be “a bit too playful” with the ball.

He hinted Musiala might begin at Villarreal with Goretzka, who scored at Freiburg on Saturday, solely simply again after a protracted spell out.

“There are no guarantees he (Musiala) will play, but Leon can’t play every three days,” stated Nagelsmann, “so I am happy we have the alternative and that we can switch.”



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