Few would begrudge Bayern Munich and Germany teenager the 2021 Golden Boy award. - © imago
Few would begrudge Bayern Munich and Germany teenager the 2021 Golden Boy award. - © imago

Jamal Musiala: Who is the Bayern Munich and Germany teen up for the Golden Boy?


Jamal Musiala has made a big impression for Bayern Munich and Germany, despite still being 18. bundesliga.com has the lowdown on the Golden Boy 2021 candidate...

Jamal Musiala

Age: 18
Bayern Munich
Attacking midfield
Germany (nine caps, one goal)

Key stats

Musiala was born in Fulda - a central German city just north east of Frankfurt - but spent much of his childhood in England, where he and his family moved when he was seven. The attacking midfielder spent four months with Southampton before being spotted by Chelsea - just one year after arriving in the country - and signed to a scholarship. His progress was swift, and Musiala made his league debut for Chelsea's U18 team aged just 15 years, two months and 13 days.

While catching eyes throughout the Chelsea academy, Musiala was also making waves on the international scene. He played for the England U15 team aged just 13 and continued to represent the country at U16 level. He then made two appearances for the country of his birth, Germany, and their U16 team in October 2018. Musiala subsequently featured in eight appearances for England's U17 side, scoring in his first two outings, and is now capped up to U21 level with the Three Lions.

Musiala (second from left, bottom row) has represented both England and Germany at international youth level. - imago

Alongside Bright Arrey-Mbi, Musiala joined Bayern from English Premier League side Chelsea last summer, aged just 16. His progression has duly picked up where it had left off in the English capital. The teen averaged a goal or assist every 105 minutes as a member of Bayern's U17 squad before being promptly promoted to the U19s. Eight appearances later, he was bumped up a class to Bayern's reserve squad before the coronavirus pandemic.

After the league resumed, Musiala made his professional debut in the German third tier for Bayern's second team, and even scored a brace in his second outing. He came off the bench against FSV Zwickau to become the league's second-youngest scorer of all time and on Matchday 33 of the Bundesliga season, Musiala came off the bench against Freiburg to become Bayern's youngest-ever player in the Bundesliga at just 17 years and 115 days old.

He followed that by becoming the Bavarian club's all-time youngest goalscorer, smashing the record set by an 18-year-old Roque Santa Cruz, with the eighth goal in an 8-0 win over Schalke on the opening day of the 2020/21 season, aged 17 years and 205 days. Musiala was also on target against Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 5, and scored a brilliant equaliser against RB Leipzig on Matchday 10.

Watch: A Jamal Musiala highlight reel

Building on a breakout 2020/21 campaign, Musiala produced his first career brace in the 2021/22 DFB Cup first round, before reaching seven top-flight goals quicker than every player other than Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz on Bundesliga Matchday 3. He added an eighth Bundesliga strike against Leipzig a fortnight later.

Ex-Bayern head coach Hansi Flick rewarded his protégé with a full Germany debut in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying during the September break. He chipped in with an assist in that game, before becoming the second-youngest goalscorer in the history of the Germany national team against North Macedonia, at 18 years and 227 days. Only 110 days earlier, the Bayern No.8 had written his name into the annals as the youngest German player to feature in a major tournament (UEFA Euro 2020).

Plays a bit like: Dele Alli

Despite boasting a svelte physique tailor-made to slither through opposition defences, Musiala admits he wants to add some more muscle to his rangy 6'-tall frame. The Germany-born attacking midfielder prefers playing as a No.10 in behind the striker, but he can also play as a No.9. Predominantly right footed, but more than capable of using his left when needed, he also prides himself on his powerful shot.

Did you know?

Upon signing for Chelsea aged just eight, Musiala was enlisted at the Whitgift School in Croydon. The school has become famous for producing young talents in recent years, with Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi, Nigeria international Victor Moses and Lyon’s Bertrand Traore among its former pupils.

Watch: Musiala - leading Germany's next gen

What they're saying

"He has unbelievable potential. It's extraordinary. He has great finishing qualities. Unbelievable attacking qualities also in his dribbling with the ball. He justified my trust [in him]. He's doing very well. He has the basis for an outstanding career." - Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann

"Jamal's already very good, but can become world class. He's very advanced for his age. He's full of tricks, unpredictable and also very dynamic when it comes to controlling the ball - especially with his first touch. He always tries to take the ball forward. He's a very special player." - Bayern and Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich

"Jamal's gone through the roof in the last six months; he’s a great player and has a huge future. He just goes out on the pitch, plays his game and has fun. We're happy to have him with us. Maybe we, other players, should take a leaf out of his book." - Germany striker Timo Werner