In Bayern Munich’s convincing 5-2 win over Benfica on Tuesday, Jamal Musiala was introduced in just the 64th minute after a strong start to the season. Nagelsmann announced before kick-off that he wanted to give the “frequent players” a break during the clash against Benfica. It would seem as though Musiala would get his chance to start, but think again.
Instead, Bayern deployed Gnabry, Sané, and Coman in a very different-looking lineup than usual. The experiment worked wonderfully, yet Musiala was once again restricted to a late substitution appearance. Musiala is incredibly talented and a crowd favorite, so why is he getting so little playtime?
“The question is not why he is not playing, but why someone else is playing. He’s not doing anything worse than he was weeks ago. The others just got more stable. Leroy, Serge and Kingsley are in a very good mood. You deserve to play. Sometimes we have six or seven offensive players on the field. I can’t pack any more into the field,” said Nagelsmann to Sport1 after the match explaining Musiala’s exclusion.
Nagelsmann recognizes the tremendous qualities in the young German but understands the strong competition in his position. The Bayern coach believes that Musiala still has to improve in other areas. While he is lacking in defensive behavior, when Musiala has the ball at his feet, goals are created.
Musiala started the season off strong and has collected 4 goals and 4 assists in 15 appearances (only 4 of which he started). He has earned only 511 minutes in all competitions which ranks him at 14th out of 26 in the squad in terms of time played.
Nagelsmann plans that his playtime is likely to change soon. It is still early in the season and at his age, it is about development and support rather than taking over the squad. There are no doubts about his quality and Nagelsmann expects him to be one of Germany’s and Bayern Munich’s outstanding players, but he isn’t quite there yet.
Do you think Musiala should be getting more playtime? Let us know in the comments!