Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala put in a mesmerising shift from the bench against RB Leipzig. - © imago/ DFL
Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala put in a mesmerising shift from the bench against RB Leipzig. - © imago/ DFL
bundesliga

Jamal Musiala: Bayern Munich's Matchday 4 "Magican of the Matchday" casts a spell on RB Leipzig

Thomas Müller said it best following Bayern Munich's demonstrative 4-1 win at RB Leipzig on Bundesliga Matchday 4: "Jamal Musiala was the magician of the match".

Musiala was named on the substitutes' bench at the Red Bull Arena, but didn't hang about after entering the fray in first-half stoppage time for the injured Serge Gnabry.

Within two minutes of the restart, the teenager brought an Alphonso Davies ball under his spell and fired with unerring accuracy beyond Peter Gulacsi.

The Germany wizard then turned provider for Bayern's third, ghosting in behind Mohamed Simakan and telegraphing the unmarked Leroy Sane's run with an inch-perfect cross towards the back post. It was footballing sorcery at its finest.

"It was a lot of fun," Musiala said after the heavyweight clash. "We practise moves like my goal in training, you don't have to give them much thought."

Watch: Jamal Musiala stars as Bayern beat Leipzig - in 60 seconds!

It's that effortless brilliance that is fast becoming a Musiala hall-mark.

Building on a breakout 2020/21 campaign, the former Chelsea academy prospect magicked up a brace in DFB Cup first-round fare, before reaching seven top-flight goals quicker than every player other than Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz, courtesy of a cool finish past Hertha Berlin's Alexander Schwolow on Bundesliga Matchday 3.

Ex-Bayern head coach Hansi Flick rewarded his protégé with a full Germany debut in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying during the September break. The ex-England youth player didn't disappoint, splitting a dogged Liechtenstein defence for Timo Werner to sink the first goal of the Flick era.

Aged 18 years, six months and 18 days on the day of his Leipzig salvo, the Bayern midfielder has now registered an ominous 11 goals and five assists in 52 first-team appearances for club and country - among them 12 starts.

Unsurprisngly, Musiala is not short of admirers.

Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann has labelled his teenaged trump card "a street footballer of the highest order", while Germany legend Lothar Matthäus - winner of the 1990 Ballon d'Or - sees himself in the twinkle-toed Golden Boy 2021 nominee.

Yet it's Bayern and Germany teammate Müller, who might just be his biggest fan.

"The special thing about Jamal is that he has a great character to go with his talent," enthused the one-club man of almost 600 competitive appearances.

"He's hard-working, self-confident - but not cocky. He takes the ball, and knows exactly what to do. He's not an addition, but a very important player for us."

Praise indeed from the very Bayern player that Musiala - according to reports - is being groomed to succeed long-term.

"Attaboy!" Thomas Müller (c.) has hailed Musiala's (r.) impact on the Bayern first team. - imago images

Musiala's qualities are a touch more conventional compared to Müller - the game's one and only "Raumdeuter" (space interpreter) - but no less extraordinary.

The similarly lithe Musiala marries pace with movement; attacking instinct with defensive dog work; team with individual mastery; and can play wide or through the middle. He is the proverbial full package, and every bit the real deal.

Given what he is pulling out of the bag a couple of months into his second full season on the pro circuit, the list of superlatives to describe the majestic Musiala is only going to grow.

The elite-level prospect's evolution promises to captivate the football world for years to come.

Chris Mayer-Lodge