Yunus Musah is just 18 years old, and he has already found himself being a man in demand. The young midfielder had the option of 3 countries fighting for his representation. Thinking of his future, as well as with his heart, the youngster has chosen to represent the USA.
A breakthrough star who spent 7 years at Arsenal, and now stars for Valencia. Yunush Musah is certainly One to Watch.Embed from Getty Images
Yunus Musah Early Career
Yunus Musah was born in 2002 in New York, USA to Ghanaian parents while they were on holiday in the States. He soon moved to Italy and began his footballing career. Musah and his family lived in Castelfranco Veneto, where Musah began playing football at Giorgione Calcio 2000 in the Italian 5th Division.
At the age of 9, the family relocated to England. A tough decision for any family, Musah was able to continue his footballing career and was quickly picked by the Arsenal academy. He remained at the academy for 7 years. In his last year at the club, a 16-year-old Musah was already playing for the Under-18s team and helped them secure the title that season
In his youth career he represented England and even captained the U-18 side.
The move to Valencia
The issue, however, was the youngsters’ play time. Then manager Unai Emery apparently had big plans for the midfielder, however, he did not trust Musah with first-team football. So he decided to seek it elsewhere.
And in the summer of 2019, Musah joined Spanish side Valencia. Initially playing for the ‘B’ team, he soon stood out as a player.
In came manager Javi Gracia, and Musah’s talents were soon recognised as he was invited to join the senior side. He made his debut on September 13th 2020.
Breakout Season in Valencia
This season has been a tough one for the Valencia side. The club finds itself in 12th position as they saw a number of their top players flee the ship.
Forwards Ferran Torres and Rodrigo went to the Premier League, and midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia left on an emergency transfer to Atletico Madrid after Arsenal triggered Thomas Partey’s release clause.
But the losses that hurt the most was the departure of duo Francis Coquelin, and captain and 9-year club hero Dani Parejo to rivals Villareal.
This, however, has opened the door for youngster Musah to stake his claim for a spot. And he has done exactly that! The 18-year-old has played 24 times this season, starting 15 games. This is an incredible feat for someone so early in their career. And it will certainly help him develop quickly into a top talent, as he takes on the big boys each week.
Musah’s stats are not outstanding compared to some of the big names. But given his age, and the fact that he has been playing out of position, the numbers will surely improve as he settles as a player.
- 24 apps (15 starts)
- 1 goal
- Playing out of position as a right midfielder
- Averages 23.8 passes/90 minutes, 75% accuracy
- At the moment being used as a utility player – with tackling, shooting and passing all part of his game
- Averages 2.9 dribbles/90 minutes, 2.3 tackles/90 minutes
Yunus Musah – Choosing USA
With his club career settled, next comes the question of his national allegiance. While in England, the midfielder represented the English national team at youth level. But, being born in the USA and growing up in Italy, he was given 3 options. Yunus Musah recently chose to represent the USA side over England and Italy, and he explains why:
“It was pretty clear for me to decide to play for the US,” he said.
“First of all, I think it makes sense to represent the country I was born in. The moment I decided to play for the United States came one day when my heart told me that this was the best place for me.”
He has even cointed the hashtah #mUSAh!
The USMNT has some great prospects for the future. Among players like Sergino Dest, Giovanni Reyna, and Christian Pulisic, they have a great set of talent for the future.
And most notably for Yunus Musah is Juventus’ Weston McKennie. The midfielder has shown his class since a move to Turin, alongside another of our Ones to Watch: Dejan Kulusevski. The two youngsters McKennie and Musah will be regarded as the future of the midfield for many years to come, and it’s clear to see why as we see Musah’s play style develop.
Yunus Musah Play style
Yunus Musah plays generally as a CM/Number 8, preferring to play in the centre of the pitch. At six foot tall he is strong for his age, but has the ability to carry the ball and dribble past defences.
On his playing style, Musah said: “I’m a passer and also physical, I can run past players because I’m a bit bigger than some of them. I’m really good at passing, I can create a lot of chances and this season I’ve been trying to improve my scoring rate.
Being able to recover the ball, and then push forward before shooting, or making a final pass. This play style sounds similar to Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. Another thing to note is that his current position on the right wing allows the youngster to show off his electric pace.
Despite playing on the right of midfield, Yunus Musah is still able to use his defensive talents. His ability to tackle, combined with the energy of a young player wanting to show his best means he can help out defensively.
Similar comparisons to Paul Pogba have been made to Nicolo Zaniolo
In our article on the young Italian Zaniolo, we wrote
“Standing at 6 foot 3 inches with great ball control and natural technique, the attacking midfielder has bared comparisons recently to Manchester United and France World Cup Winner, Paul Pogba.”
At just 18 years old, Yunus Musah has a huge career ahead of him. Already starting regularly in the Spanish La Liga means he will develop very rapidly compared to many his age. He is already in demand, and there are even rumours that former club Arsenal would be looking to get the US national back to London.
The national side looks set to push the European and South American countries for quality too. And Yunus Musah will have a big part in the USA team midfield if they want to compete.
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