Football Features

Jamal Musiala shows England exactly what they missed out on as Germany midfielder stars in Nations League draw

By Ben Green

Published: 21:50, 7 June 2022

Gareth Southgate admitted he “would have liked” Jamal Musiala to pledge his allegiance to England ahead of his side’s Nations League showdown with Germany — and the Bayern Munich star showcased exactly why the Three Lions boss wanted him.

Taking to the stage against England for the first time since he swapped allegiances last year, having previously turned out for the Three Lions at various youth levels, Musiala produced a performance at the Allianz Arena that was simply world class as both nations played out a 1-1 draw.

If anyone needed reason why Germany and England were embroiled in a tug-of-war for Musiala, this match was it. The teenage sensation was the major difference-maker during his time on the pitch, locating dangerous areas of the pitch that were otherwise unseen by the naked eye, before executing the right pass, touch or pirouette at the right time — every time.


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He was the heartbeat of Hansi Flick’s side, passing with metronomic accuracy and dribbling past England players like they were training cones at Bayern Munich’s famed Sabener Strasse training complex. He appeared almost ethereal as he danced in Bavaria, light-footed and sprightly.

“We’d have liked him to stay [with England] for certain,” Southgate admitted in his pre-match press conference.

“We enjoyed working with him when he was in our junior teams. He was a really nice boy to work with. We knew he was going to be, and he is, a good player.

“So yes we would have liked him for sure but we’ve got lots of these situations now in England – I’m sure Germany have got the same – where players can play for a number of different countries and sometimes your heart is going to take you somewhere else. We have complete respect for that.”

Nation Sky Bet 
Germany 4/6
Italy 2/1
Hungary 9/2
England 100/1
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At times it felt like the England midfielders were showing Musiala too much respect as he dictated the tempo in the Three Lion half during his time on the pitch, attempting and winning more take-ons than any other player despite exiting the field on the 65-minute mark.

Incredibly, Musiala finished the Nations League tie with an 84% passing accuracy, despite playing in a central attacking area of the field. For context, Thomas Muller and Jonas Hofmann — his midfield team-mates in the final third — finished the game with 75% and 77% passing accuracy respectively.

Musiala’s appreciation of space and the weight and timing of his passing is innate, traits that can’t be taught but are simply natural.

He has certainly bulked up in typical Bayern Munich fashion since breaking into the first team, and that combination of skill and athleticism have transformed him into a player of real substance, combining brains and brawn to make him a devastating midfield maestro.

England’s loss is certainly Germany’s gain.

Nation Sky Bet
Netherlands 7/2
Spain 4/1
Germany 9/2
Belgium 15/2
Denmark 8/1
Portugal 8/1
Italy 10/1
Croatia 14/1
Hungary 33/1
England 250/1
Czech Republic 500/1
Austria 500/1
Poland 1000/1
Switzerland 1000/1
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