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Hamilton

Non-Chelsea Transfer Pub

Started by Hamilton,

We desperately need a LB backup in January. Alonso and Emerson are simply not good enough. Hopefully the club see this and decide to invest.

11Drogba likes this

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14 minutes ago, Azul said:

We desperately need a LB backup in January. Alonso and Emerson are simply not good enough. Hopefully the club see this and decide to invest.

Think it will happen unless one of the two magically regains form. There is no way Lampard rates either. 

Can't see it myself. 

Azul likes this

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It looks like ManU transfer window has players talking shit about each other and the club. This one is not going to help the locker room.

 

 

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Musiala – the teenager who left Chelsea and became a Bayern phenomenon

https://theathletic.com/2153973/2020/10/24/musiala-the-teenager-who-left-chelsea-and-became-a-bayern-phenomenon/

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The plane is approaching Munich and Jamal Musiala is still not sure whether he is making the correct decision.

It is July 2019 and one of Chelsea’s finest academy players has opted to reject a new deal to stay at Stamford Bridge in favour of joining Bayern Munich.

The teenager, who can play in a variety of attacking positions, is a little nervous and talking to those closest to him to double-check whether this is the right move. Any feelings of angst on the short trip are understandable. Musiala had been at Chelsea for eight years, boasted a number of close friends in the youth set-up and was being earmarked as a potential first-team squad member of the future. Now he was leaving the (relative) comfort zone behind for arguably a harder challenge to make it as a senior professional — and a whole new way of life.

Fast forward to October 2020 and all those doubts are a distant memory. Musiala has already made seven appearances for the first team and the speed of his progress has even taken everyone at Bayern Munich by surprise.

As Bayern started the defence of their Champions League trophy with an impressive 4-0 victory over Atletico Madrid, Musiala was on the bench hoping to make history with the club for the third time in the space of four remarkable months.

In June, he became the youngest footballer to play for the club in the Bundesliga when he came on as a late substitute against Freiburg aged 17 years and 115 days. Just 90 days later, Musiala scored his first league goal to become their youngest ever goalscorer. Had he got on the pitch against Atletico, he would have become the youngest player to represent them in the Champions League as well.

He has come close to getting a taste of the action in Europe twice before. The first occasion he was named on the bench came against his former side Chelsea in August as Bayern cruised to a 4-1 victory. The second came as Barcelona were destroyed 8-2 a week later. It surely won’t be long before this new feat is achieved.

Musiala already has some prized mementos in his possession, including a Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League winners’ medal (despite not featuring at all in the latter two competitions). Being in Portugal with the squad for the climax of the Champions League was a real high, particularly as he got to meet and take a picture with his idol, Neymar. The Paris Saint-Germain star happily obliged despite having just lost arguably the biggest club game of his career.

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Inevitably, Musiala is now subject to a lot of attention. There is a buzz around Munich about this rising star of the game and the media in England as well as Germany are starting to follow his every move.

So how is he handling the scrutiny? “We were a bit worried about Jamal having this honour of being the youngest Bayern player on his shoulders and whether it would add to the pressure, the hype,” a club insider tells The Athletic. “But he has just shrugged it off and isn’t fazed at all.”

The timing of his emergence has helped. Bayern are winning trophies, playing great football and a number of squad members are in the spotlight. Perhaps if he was setting these kind of records at another German club, there would be even more focus on the new wonderkid of the division.

His progress has been rapid to say the least. This was a boy who earned his first boot deal with Nike at aged 12 and was named player of the tournament at a couple of international youth competitions.

Chelsea selected him for their under-18s side when he was just 14 and he played for England Under-15s at the age of 13. This is someone accustomed to being ahead of schedule. All the leading clubs in Europe were monitoring his progress, including Bayern. They were able to convince Musiala that there was a greater chance of playing for them than for Chelsea. For context, this was before Frank Lampard took over as coach and began giving youth a chance.

Speaking to Fuldaer Zeitung, he explained: “There were other interested clubs in Europe but I always loved Bayern from when I was very young. I couldn’t say no to them.”

After Musiala signed for Bayern he was placed in the under-17s side, who were coached by former Germany international striker Miroslav Klose. Three goals came in his first three appearances. Before last Christmas, the tally read six goals and two assists from 12 games. It was clear to everyone he was too good for that level.

“My fitness was lacking at the beginning,” he admits. “I had to work on my defensive game as well. I learned a lot from a world-class striker (Klose). For example determination and calmness in front of goal.”

There was a brief stint with the under-19s (8 apps) before capturing the attention of Sebastian Hoeness, who manages Hoffenheim now but was in charge of Bayern’s reserve team last season.

“In the very first training session with the squad, Hoeness was saying he will make his reserves debut within a few weeks,” the Bayern source continues. “He was really impressed with what he saw.”

Bayern’s second team play in the third tier of German football, where there is a mixture of professional clubs and reserve sides from the Bundesliga. So there are plenty of physical, experienced professionals to be worried about, especially when a youngster is concerned.

However, in one of his first games, Musiala demonstrated that he wasn’t intimidated. After losing the ball to a tall, strong opponent, he chased after him and won possession back with a fine tackle. It caught the attention of Bayern personnel watching on from the touchline. The source adds: “Everyone was like, ‘Oh, OK  — this guy is serious’. You don’t really see that from 17-year-olds. That made a huge impression.”

It was a trait first spotted by Brian Mustill, who was in charge of Chelsea’s under-8s and under-10s when Musiala was there. “When he lost the ball, he did everything in his power to win it back,” Mustill told the BBC. “I remember we played Spurs away, and I think he scored six or seven on the day. But it was his desire to win the ball having lost it, his energy levels to win the ball back. He chased the whole length of the pitch to win it back and then go and beat the whole team again.”

At Bayern there were more glowing reports following a brace against Zwickau, where he dominated proceedings. And soon enough, albeit after football was put on hold due to COVID-19, head coach of the first team Hansi Flick came calling.

In just eight months, Musiala had gone from the under-17s, to the under-19s, the reserves and into the first team. People at Bayern aren’t sure this has ever happened before. Any plans they had made over what he can do or become have been thrown completely in the air. No one expected this.

One thing is for sure: sources have told The Athletic that talks should begin in the next few months over a contract extension. His deal expires in 2022 but unlike Chelsea, Bayern won’t run the risk of allowing this prodigy to depart. Not that Musiala has any intention of going anywhere. He is very settled in the country of his birth.

Musiala, who was born in Stuttgart, now resides in a rural village outside Munich within 10 minutes drive of the FC Bayern Campus, which has been the home for the club’s youth teams since 2017. In many ways the unglamorous location is in keeping with the teenager. No fuss. Very humble.

Even if there was any suggestion of an ego getting out of control, his mother, plus a brother and sister, are there to keep him in check because they live with him.

It was his mother’s desire to study sociology at the University of Southampton which prompted the family to move to England when Musiala was eight. His Nigerian father has been pivotal for his son’s career and was the one who taught him to play football in the first place.

Another insight into just how grounded Musiala is comes with the discovery he has maintained his pursuit of acquiring an A-Level in business, although obviously has to do it online now that he is in Germany.

The arrival of one of his best friends in football Jude Bellingham, albeit to Borussia Dortmund, has been a plus. The duo speak on a regular basis and Musiala is believed to be helping out the Birmingham City academy graduate with learning the language.

Due to his parentage and upbringing, Musiala qualifies to play for England, Germany and Nigeria. It is understood representing the latter has already been ruled out but the choice between the other two is less clear. He has played for both at youth level, although England appear to be in the lead due to his current involvement with the under-17s. However, a source suggests it is very much 50-50 and is likely to be a case of who uses him in a competitive fixture first.

The game time with Bayern will surely continue. Unlike the Premier League, the Bundesliga have maintained the rule which allows five substitutes to be used. UEFA also permit this in the Champions League. With Bayern expected to dominate opponents most weeks, there should be plenty of opportunities for him to come off the bench to keep accruing minutes and appearances.

While his ideal position is as a No 10, Musiala can play out wide. That is useful for Bayern with Leroy Sane suffering another knee injury and Serge Gnabry testing positive for coronavirus. Though a reality check has been provided by Bayern re-signing another winger, Douglas Costa, having failed to acquire Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea for a second successive year.

But after a fine display from the start in the German Cup victory over FC Duren, which included a dribble that went viral on social media as he waltzed past three players only to shoot wide, Flick made his admiration for Musiala clear.

“Everyone can see that he has enormous quality on the ball,” Flick said. “He’s very confident and cheeky. But he needs to improve his physical robustness and still has a long way to go. He’s currently ahead of our other youth players.

 

“He has to keep going. It’s a lifelong learning process. I trust him to take the next step with the support of the top players. The important thing is that the young guys train with us. If you train with the best players at Bayern every day, you get better and develop very well.

“It’s up to us to decide where and when he will play depending on the situation. Jamal’s a good option for the wings, especially while Sane is injured. At the moment, I see him as a first-team player. His development is the most important thing.”

By his own admission, Musiala thinks he can improve physically and with his ability to head the ball. Standing at 6ft 2in, this is an individual with quite a presence as it is. Yet his growing stature in the sport is only just beginning.

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