There's a 17-year-old kid from Croyden playing in the best side in the world's first team, scoring goals and looking comfortable at that level. How did it fly under the radar for so long?
Jamal Musiala is no longer a secret, however. After netting against Lazio in the Champions League last season, he's officially the next big thing in football. Jude Bellingham? He's so last week.
With Musiala potentially about to go stratospheric, it looks like there's another 'wünderkind' to keep an eye on in the Bundesliga...
1. He slipped through Chelsea's net
OK, so who hasn't been in Chelsea's academy?
Musiala was born in Stuttgart; his mum is German. He moved to Croyden when he was 7 and joined the Blues' famed youth programme, going to the same school that current Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi attended.
When he was 16, the biggest clubs in Europe came calling for Musiala - and he opted to head to Bavaria. So he didn't actually get to play with the likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori - who are both older than him.
Hudson-Odoi did play with Musiala though, both for Chelsea and England. Bayern Munich famously came calling for CHO after landing Musiala and could have followed his schoolmate over to Germany.
2. He's not going to play for England...
Despite Callum Hudson-Odoi telling Jamal Musiala "it would be nice" if he ended up playing for England, the youngster has just pledged allegiance to Die Mannschaft. Fair enough - he was born there, after all.
But it didn't look like an easy decision. The DFB were said to be hopeful but not exactly expectant in the Stuttgart-born attacker choosing Germany as his senior side after he switched to play for England's under-21s. Even then, U21 boss Aidy Boothroyd didn't know whether he'd stay a Lion: it could have gone either way.
"Nothing is written in stone and we are just doing what we would do with any other player at this moment in time," Boothroyd said at the time.
3. ...but he has played with some of England's brightest new generation
A photo posted by on
That's Amadou Diallo on the far-left, one of the most exciting prospects of West Ham United's academy. To the right of him is Louie Barry, the first Englishman to ever come through La Masia. Jude Bellingham stands next along, a £25m Borussia Dortmund signing and England's third-youngest full international.
Musiala is on the right, having just scored three goals in an Under-15s match against the Netherlands. If you think the current generation of youngsters, including Saka, Foden and Sancho is impressive, this one could be even better.
It's written in the stars though, isn't it? Musiala to bury the winning penalty in a World Cup final for Germany over England. Don't say we didn't warn you.
4. He's Bayern's youngest-ever player
Bayern's transfer policy has shifted in recent years - Dortmund's has too, to a degree. They can't compete with the bigger guns when it comes to transfer fees, so signing young talent and developing it is sensible.
With this in mind, Jamal Musiala becoming Bayern's youngest-ever star proves that he's doing something right. Hansi Flick is glowing in his praise of the youngster and he seems to be excelling at a younger age than the likes of Alphonso Davies, Serge Gnabry or Kingsley Coman, who are now fully-fledged headliners in this star-studded team.
Who knows how good he'll be in two or three years - let alone five or ten.
5. He could yet end up as a No.10, a box-to-box midfielder, a No.9 or a winger
What a finish from 17-year-old Jamal Musiala for Bayern! 🎯That build-up play from Alphonso Davies 😍 pic.twitter.com/Gbix4z0b4oFebruary 23, 2021
Curiously, Musiala has played a box-to-box midfielder for Bayern. When Thiago Alcantara left for Liverpool, it perhaps wasn't obvious that Musiala would be getting game time as a result - but in a roundabout way, it's ended up that way with the 17-year-old appearing in midfield.
He has boundless energy, mature positioning for his age and a ferocious shot. Like Bellingham, it's difficult to know where to place Musiala but his build certainly helps. At just over 6ft, he's not too diminutive to stand tall in a midfield.
It seems like he'll most likely become a playmaker in Thomas Muller's role, long-term. There are comparisons in the way he moves to Dele Alli - though at this age, the sky is almost the limit for what kind of player he may evolve into...
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