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Jamal Musiala, Ryan Gravenberch, Mathys Tel — three Bayern Munich players nominated for Golden Boy

There’s a youth movement under way in Bavaria.

Jamal Musiala claps hands with Ryan Gravenberch as they exchange places on the field during the Wolfsburg game. Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Three Bayern Munich players — Jamal Musiala, Ryan Gravenberch, and Mathys Tel — have been spotlighted in the Tuttosport’s shortlist for the 2022 Golden Boy award, given out to the top under-21 footballer in Europe and selected by journalists from a variety of publications across the continent.

The only German international to win Golden Boy since its establishment in 2003 is Mario Götze (2011), who was at Borussia Dortmund at the time. Bayern’s only win came in 2016 with Portugal’s Renato Sanches, who had just come off a stellar season with Benfica.

If Musiala wins, though, it will be for a rise to stardom overseen completely at Bayern Munich. The still teenaged spark plug was only sixteen when he left Chelsea FC for the German Rekordmeister, and it was only in February of 2021 that he confirmed his intent to play for the German senior national team.

Bayern fans have enjoyed watching him since he first became a senior team fixture in 2020/21. While he dazzled in increasing minutes over the last two seasons, he’s positively sparkling now — having started three out of three of Bayern’s opening three competitive matches, with four goals and an assist. He’s combining outrageous goal and direct build-up quality for a midfielder with incredible pressing energy for an attacker — fast becoming one of the most vital players on one of Europe’s most imposing teams:

Side-by-side comparisons of Musiala’s attacking, build-up, and pressing metrics graded against midfielders (elite/elite/average) and attacking midfielders (excellent/elite/elite)
Musiala’s FBref metrics over the past 365 days as of Aug 15, 2022.

“He really is a top talent,” said Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić in remarks captured by @iMiaSanMia. “More than just a talent. It would be an award for the whole club, not just for Jamal. That’s secondary, but it would still be nice for all of us.”

Indeed, it’s hard to think of many who are enjoying the kind of rise Musiala is right now. He’s been simply sensational.

This is to take nothing away from twenty-year-old Ryan Gravenberch, the precocious Dutch talent wanted by all the top clubs, who already has two starting seasons under his belt from his time at Ajax. Nor Mathys Tel, the seventeen-year-old phenom who commanded over €20m on the market this transfer window, and who doesn’t look the least bit overwhelmed in the Bundesliga next to established stars. Both are new arrivals to the setup at the Säbener Straße.

It’s a long shortlist, to be sure, but landing on it is an honor in its own right for these talented youngsters. With them, Bayern hope to have recruited a crop of young stars for the near future — to carry the torch for the next generation of Bavarian excellence.

The Golden Boy was most recently awarded to FC Barcelona’s Pedri.

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