From his tenure as Bayern Munich manager, Hansi Flick was one of the first coaches to really give Jamal Musiala a decent run in the senior squad, who has quickly flourished into one of Europe’s brightest young talents. He’s had a great start to the season for Bayern, having already tallied six goals and three assists from a total of 10 appearances across all competitions and being one of Bayern’s most dangerous attackers.
Bayern has hit a bit of a wall in the Bundesliga, but it’s hard to argue that Musiala’s form has taken any sort of noticeable dip during the club’s rut. He was used as a second half substitute in Germany’s 1-0 loss to Hungary in Leipzig in the Nations League, but Flick was using the opportunity to get a few different looks before he has to finalize his roster for the World Cup in Qatar in under two months’ time. During the World Cup itself, Musiala will be a key player, without question, especially if he carries on with the bright start that he’s had for Bayern.
Ahead of the loss to Hungary, Flick sang Musiala’s praises and explained how much of a joy it is to be able to watch him play. Flick’s very well familiar with his positional versatility from his cumulative time working with the youngster at both Bayern and Germany, but didn’t hold back when he said “it’s just a pleasure to see Jamal play.” (Abendzeitung).
In particular, Flick is quite fond of Musiala’s ability to stay so composed in the final third, especially as a less-experienced, younger player. Oftentimes, younger players have a tendency to shy away from certain attacking moves for fear of how the veteran players, or even the manager, might react, but that’s not the case at all with Musiala. “Even at his young age, he already has a very big goal threat. He keeps calm in the box under pressure and sets the shot in such a way that the goalkeeper can no longer get to the ball. He does that really well,” Flick explained.
Tactical and positional versatility is also something that makes Musiala so special and effective for both club and country. It’s often argued what his best, most impactful position is; central attacking midfielder, winger, central midfielder, or perhaps even something else? For Flick, the most effective position isn’t as important to him as much as the versatility itself, and even referenced a match where he was used as the No. 6 midfielder. “With us, he also played on the six against the Netherlands and did well there. It has a completeness that is very good for us, I think,” Flick said.