Bayern Munich midfielder Jamal Musiala could become the best player in the world “in the near future” according to Germany legend Lothar Matthaus.
Musiala joined Bayern Munich from Chelsea in the summer of 2019 and after just one season in their youth ranks was promoted to the first team. But before his first full campaign as a member of the senior squad, Musiala did make his debut, becoming the youngest ever player to feature for Bayern in the Bundesliga, aged 17 years and 115 days. That was a record he held until January when Paul Wanner made his Bayern debut at the age of 16 years and 15 days.
Making the permanent step up at Bayern in 2020/21, Musiala made his Champions League debut and played 26 times in the Bundesliga, scoring six goals (plus one more in the Champions League). It was also during that season Musiala made his international switch from England to Germany, a real blow for Gareth Southgate’s men.
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Musiala’s 26 Bundesliga appearances then turned to 30 in 2021/22, but the minutes were much more significant rising from just under 900 to 1450m with five goals and five assists thrown in.
But this season could be the real turning point. Musiala has started in all three of Bayern’s matches so far across all competitions, on the left-hand side of their midfield, with Leroy Sane dropping down to the bench.
It’s a position in which Musiala appears to be thriving, scoring twice in the 6-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt and once against Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, as well as another strike in the DFL-Super Cup win over RB Leipzig.
And seven-time Bundesliga champion Matthaus is tipping Musiala to go to the very top, sooner rather than later.
“What a wonderful footballer this Jamal Musiala is! Musiala combines diligence, greed, focus, talent and down-to-earthness,” he told Sky Germany.
“He keeps the ball flat and explodes at the same time. His goal against Wolfsburg: fantastic. He’s incredibly personable, far from bling-bling and just wants to play football.
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“And he does it sensationally. Where can this lead? I think he can be the best player in the world! And that doesn’t have to be in three, four, five years. This may already happen in the near future.
“Yes, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on young players, but you can call a spade a spade. This player can become a very, very big one. Just imagine, he wins the Champions League with Bayern and becomes world champion with Germany.”
This isn’t the first time Matthaus has been high in praise of Musiala, comparing the teenager with himself two years ago.
“Sometimes he plays as a six, sometimes eight or ten,” the 199- Ballon d’Or winner said about Musiala, just 17 years old at the time, while covering a Bayern Munich match.
“He reminds me a lot of another player.”
When asked by the presenter who he was referring to, Matthaus replied: “He’s sitting very close to you.”