England and Nigeria are set to miss out on 17-year-old Bayern star Jamal Musiala, who is expected to accept an invitation to join up with Germany’s squad next month even though Gareth Southgate is keen for him to play for England.
Jamal is set to announce this week that he has signed a new long-term contract with Bayern when he turns 18 on Friday 26 February, 2021. Educated in England and came through the ranks at Chelsea, he qualifies for both nations, as well as Nigeria.
Born to a Nigerian father and German mother in Stuttgart, he initially grew up in Fulda, central Germany, until his parents moved to Southampton when he was seven, as his mother Carolin was studying at the university.
He briefly played for the Saints academy, had a spell back in Germany before returning to London and at the age of eight joined Chelsea’s academy where he grew close to the family of fellow academy player Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is two years older.
He broke Hudson-Odoi’s goal-scoring record at Whitgift School in Croydon, the independent school which also is alma mater to Victor Moses.
After eight years at Chelsea he joined Bayern in 2019, moving to Munich with his mother, and his progress since means he is in line for a new deal when he turns 18.
An attacking wide player, Musiala is regarded as one of the most-exciting talents in world football and has been more aligned to England thus far, playing for England age-group teams since he was 14, starring for the Under 21s last November, when he scored in the 5-0 win over Albania.
But he has also played for Germany’s Under 16 team.
He has a close friendship with Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, also 17, who made his full England debut last November against the Republic of Ireland, so he is well aware that there will be a pathway through to the senior team if he keeps progressing.
And with Musiala featuring regularly for Bayern this season, coming on in the FIFA World Club final and starting Bundesliga and Champions League games, Southgate is expected to offer him the chance to be in the England senior squad next month.
But Germany coach Joachim Löw is also ready to call him up to the Germany full squad and it seems Musiala is ready to commit to the country of his birth.
Deciding that his long-term future is at Bayern and training every day with German international stalwarts such as Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry, who are Bayern team-mates, will have had an influence on his decision.
Southgate’s hands may be tied anyway by the travel regulations currently in place in Germany, which could also see him miss out on having Jadon Sancho and Bellingham in his current squad for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.
Neither Borussia Dortmund nor Bayern will want any players travelling to England to be part of the national team while the current German travel regulations are in place.