Bayern Munich teenager Jamal Musiala is the 2022/23 Bundesliga's top scorer after two rounds of fixtures. - © DFL
Bayern Munich teenager Jamal Musiala is the 2022/23 Bundesliga's top scorer after two rounds of fixtures. - © DFL
bundesliga

Jamal Musiala: Bayern Munich's record-breaking youngster and MD2's Man of the Matchday

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When Robert Lewandowski left Bayern Munich in the summer, little consideration was given to seeking a like-for-like replacement. Instead, ways to compensate for the loss of nigh on 40 goals per season were formulated and solutions were sought, thinking out of the box.

Sadio Mane was signed to add an air of unpredictability to the attack, and while the Senegalese forward has slotted into Lewandowski's position on the field, another Bayern player has taken on the goalscoring mantle: Jamal Musiala.

On Sunday, the 19-year-old scored his third goal of the season, helping the Bavarians on their way to a second straight win and up to their habitual perch at the top of the table.

What is more, Musiala showed he is coming of age at a startling rate of knots.

Watch: Jamal Musiala - Bayern’s Bambi taking great strides

When Uli Hoeneß steered in 11 goals and six assists in what proved to be his final full season as a professional, before a knee injury forced him into premature retirement at the age of 27, he had learned how to be a step ahead of his opponents.

After eight years performing at the very highest level, Hoeneß had honed his technique. Like many a veteran of the game, it was this anticipation, vision and movement that ensured he could remain a step ahead of a player 10 years his junior; a player like Musiala.

With his goal against Wolfsburg, Musiala stole a march on Hoeneß, dislodging him as the most prolific Bayern player under the age of 20. Hoeneß scored 13 goals before he had a two at the start of his double-digit age, while Musiala now has 14 to his name – and over six more months before he turns 20.

Not only has Musiala broken Hoeneß' record, though, he is also already well on his way to catching up with the same levels of anticipation, vision and movement with which his former club president ended his career – many years in advance.

>> What is Musiala's best position?

To do this, Musiala has been putting in extra shifts both on the training ground and in his own back yard, with the aid of a special pair of glasses and the support of a specialist to sharpen his reactions.

"It's all about fine-tuning and constantly improving Jamal's movement management," said neuro-athletic coach Steffen Tepel to SportBild. "With these glasses, you only get to see temporary images in pre-set frequencies, so your brain needs to work to fill the gaps."

Thanks to the technology and training, Musiala hopes he can sharpen his perception, think quicker and anticipate where the ball will go much faster. The speed with which he has moved to the top of the Bundesliga's goalscoring charts, as the only player with three league goals so far this season, would validate the extra work.

On Matchday 2, Musiala had four shots and scored one goal, although the league's top-scorer insists he is not particularly planning to step into the boots left by Lewandowski.

Watch: Musiala "not a natural striker"

"I'm not a natural striker, I just try to get myself in good positions to try and score as many goals as possible," he told bundesliga.com. "I think with the team we have, we're going to create lots of chances and I just have to be in the position to put them in."

Musiala has already shown a knack of getting into those positions, or creating them for himself, as was the case on Matchday 2 when he showed the strength to shake off the attention of two Wolfsburg players, climb back to his feet and keep the composure to bury an effort past Koen Casteels.

Counting his goal in the Supercup win over Leipzig, Musiala is already on four for the season and he has found the back of the net in three consecutive fixtures for the first time in his precocious career. Natural striker or not.