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Jamal Musiala: the one that got away for England

Bayern Munich teenage star pledges international allegiance to Germany 

Germany, so often the scourge of English football, have beaten the Three Lions yet again. This time though it’s not a penalty shoot-out where the Germans have emerged victorious, but a race to tie up the international footballing future for one of Europe’s most talented youngsters.

After a “tug-of-war” between the two nations, Bayern Munich star Jamal Musiala has now pledged his allegiance to Germany - the country of his birth. 

The 17-year-old, who turns 18 on Friday, was born in Stuttgart to a German mother and British-Nigerian father. He moved to England as a child and played in Chelsea’s academy before joining Bayern in 2019. At international level he has represented England at U15s, U16s, U17s and U21s but also played for Germany’s U17s, Sky Sports reports. 

With England boss Gareth Southgate and Germany’s Joachim Low both keen to select the young forward, Musiala has revealed his decision. 

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Athletic, he said: “What is best for my future? Where do I have more chances to play? In the end, I just listened to the feeling that over a long period of time kept telling me that it was the right decision to play for Germany, the land I was born in. 

“Still, it wasn't an easy decision for me. I have a heart for Germany and a heart for England. Both hearts will keep on beating. It is difficult to find words for what England means for me because I have so many memories connected to very positive emotions.”

‘They are desperate for him’

In the first-team squad this season at European champions Bayern Munich, Musiala has made 27 appearances and scored four goals in all competitions, according to TransferMarkt. On Tuesday night he was on target in Bayern’s 4-1 victory over Lazio in the Champions League round of 16 first leg and the strike makes him the second youngest scorer in the competition’s history. 

With World Cup qualifiers coming up at the end of March there are rumours that German head coach Low could select Musiala for the senior squad. 

“There is a vacuum of young talent in German football at the moment and they are desperate for him,” said John Bennett of the BBC World Service. 

Musiala revealed he had met with Low and national team director Oliver Bierhoff. “I had a very good and honest discussion with Joachim Low,” the teenager said. “We met in Munich and he showed me clearly my way to the national team. 

“I was impressed by how well informed they both were. Mr Low analysed very well my style and my weaknesses. He sees me in the future in my strongest position, that in the attacking midfield.”

With his international future now sorted, the next step for Musiala will be to confirm his club future. That could well be very soon with The Guardian reporting that the teenager is set to sign a new five-year contract at Bayern, where he could earn up to £100,000 a week.

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