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Who will win battle for Bayern's Musiala?

Published on: 24 February 2021

Jamal Musiala scored his first Champions League goal at the age of 17 years and 363 days

Jamal Musiala enjoyed a dream early 18th birthday present when he scored his first Champions League goal for Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old forward, who celebrates his birthday on Friday, finished smartly from outside the box as the holders beat Lazio 4-1 in Rome to take control of the last-16 tie.

In doing so, the teenager became both the youngest English scorer and also Bayern's youngest in the competition.

But Musiala's exploits look set to force him into a big decision - does he play for England or Germany at senior level?

The England youth international, who is about to sign his first professional contract with Bayern, is also eligible to play for Nigeria and the battle for his services is about to intensify after his latest landmark.

Both England and Germany have World Cup qualifying games at the end of March and should Musiala play in a competitive senior fixture for one of them he will be tied to that nation.

'For special players, you make special decisions'

German football expert Raphael Honigstein told BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily podcast earlier this month that "Germany are making strong moves" for Musiala and have made it official they want him in the senior team.

"He has a decision to make very soon: England or Germany?" said BBC World Service's John Bennett. "There will be a big battle for him. According to reports in the German media, Germany are favourites for him.

"The German media are very confident. There is a vacuum of young talent in German football at the moment and they are desperate for him. There are rumours they will pick him for the next international break."

Former England and Bayern midfielder Owen Hargreaves wants Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate to call the teenager up for games against San Marino, Albania and Poland next month.

"Bayern have world-class players in every position so for him to come in and play is truly remarkable," he told BT Sport.

"He is a special player, can play off either wing and is best as a number 10 - really athletic, looking to run at defenders, he has great composure, absolutely fabulous and I am delighted he started.

"For special players you make special decision. I would love to see him in an England shirt but it shows what level he is at if countries like England and Germany are competing for him at 17 years old."

Former England striker Peter Crouch added: "I believe Gareth should pick him. We don't want him going to play for Germany. You don't know his mindset, he will have Germany people in his ears, but why don't you cap him?"

'You have to wonder what Chelsea didn't see'

Musiala was born in Germany to a British-Nigerian father and German mother and then moved to England at a young age.

He was in Chelsea's academy before joining Bayern in July 2019 and has represented England at under-15, under-16, under-17 and under-21 levels, but also Germany at under-16s.

He became the youngest player to appear in the Bundesliga for the club when he made his debut against Freiburg in June, aged just 17 years and 115 days.

And Musiala then also chalked his name into the records book as Bayern's youngest scorer with a goal against Schalke after coming off the bench on the opening day of the season.

Then, on Musiala's second start in the Champions League and fourth appearance in the competition, he grabbed his first goal.

It means he is now the second-youngest player to score in the knockout stages, after Bojan (at 17 years 217 days) netted for Barcelona against Schalke in the quarter-finals in 2007-08.

"This has to be the biggest night of his career," said BBC World Service's John Bennett.

"He was a huge part of this totally dominant performance. He was playing in the Thomas Muller role and has been superb."

Crouch added: "You have to wonder what Chelsea didn't see and how he has been let go."

View more on twitter'Take Jamal to the Euros' - the reaction...View more on twitterView more on twitterView more on twitter

Sulaimon: Brilliant goal from Jamal Musiala. How I wish he could play for Nigeria but I think he would prefer Germany or England.

Camiea: Take Jamal Musiala to the Euros.

Jackie: Jamal Musiala is gonna be some player like, him and Jude Bellingham both look class. Young English talent looking solid.

Tom: England losing out on Musiala is really going to hurt in a few years' time.

Source: bbc.com

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