Jamal Musiala's central role

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Jamal Musiala has all the ingredients to excel as a defensive midfielder. As a youngster, as well as football he practised the Korean martial art of Hapkido and was part of a chess club. And there’s nothing more you need in midfield, where decisions have to be made in the tightest space and in the shortest time, than physical strength and strategic positional play. It’s therefore perhaps little wonder that the 19-year-old has established himself in the middle of the park for Bayern in recent weeks.

Adding to record collection

In Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim, our number 42 became the youngest Bayern player to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances. Behind him in the top five are club legends such as ‘Katsche’ Schwarzenbeck, Uli Hoeneß and Bastian Schweinsteiger.  

Bayern fans have got used to Musiala regularly setting new records: youngest Bundesliga player, youngest Bundesliga scorer and brace scorer, youngest FCB international and more. But, as coach Julian Nagelsmann commented before the Hoffenheim match, Musiala has also become “more reliable” since the turn of the year and taken the next step in his development. “He’s reaching a consistent level, and one that’s going upwards.” Long may it continue.

Ball control and accuracy

In the first half, Musiala was the most defensive player in front of the back three, effectively acting as a ‘deep-lying playmaker’. He knows that his coach expects two roles from him in midfield. “When we’re defending, I’m the holding midfielder. When we‘re attacking, I play as the second central midfielder.”

Jamal has magnificent qualities, he's very assured on the ball and is good at wriggling his way out of pressure situations.

Julian Nagelsmann

Nagelsmann tweaked a few things at half-time as FCB hunted the victory and created several big chances in quick succession. Musiala was also playing in a more attacking way now, often carrying the ball forward and looking to link up with Thomas Müller. No Bayern player other than Kingsley Coman had more successful dribbles.

Driving forward

He also pushed forward into the opposition box time and again. In the 68th minute, the Germany international intercepted a pass from Oliver Baumann, went round the Hoffenheim goalkeeper but could only find the side netting from a tight angle.

So close: Musiala had a great chance to give Bayern the lead in the 68th minute.

It was a good performance from him and the whole team on Saturday. And next time we’ll put those ones away!

Here are more facts on the game at Hoffenheim: