The Bayer Munich youngster is subject to a battle between two of Europe’s most powerful football nations
England Under-21 manager Aidy Boothroyd admits the future of Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala is still undecided amid an ongoing battle with Germany over his international future.
For now, the 17-year-old attacking midfielder has chosen to be with the Three Lions after his maiden call-up to the U21 side as the DFB have backed down in their pursuit.
Despite having played for Germany at the U16 level, Maikel Schonwitz, head of youth coaches at the DFB, confirmed to Sport1 that Musiala recently rejected them.
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Musiala, who was born in Stuttgart and grew up in England, has a German mother and Nigerian father, making him also eligible for the Super Eagles. Boothroyd said it’s up to the teenager to decide his own international future.
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“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. “He is a good player who deserves to be stretched and that’s why he is in the U21 team.
“After that, it is completely down to him. He has to get past the competition in terms of the players ahead of him [to reach senior level]. He needs to push himself further to grow to get into his club team in Germany. It won’t be an issue that he plays in that country so we want to create an environment that he flourishes in.
“If he joins us, then great, but we can’t do too much about it.”
Musiala’s breakthrough at Bayern has vindicated his decision to leave Chelsea as he became the European champions’ youngest Bundesliga goalscorer and appearance-maker in recent months. Boothroyd has quickly been impressed by the youngster’s first few training sessions.
“He is a very, very talented player,” he added. “He has got very good feet, he can play off the left or right. Tactically, I have been really impressed at how quickly he takes things on. He has looked the part.
“Watching him playing for his club, the younger teams and you get a clear idea of him. But having looked at him up close, he is probably not finished growing so there’s a lot to come from him physically but technically and tactically I have been really impressed.”
The youngster has co-captained England at U17 level with Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. The Bayern midfielder was looking forward to linking up with his close friend and fellow Bundesliga star before he got promoted to Gareth Southgate’s senior squad.
“It has to be said that Jamal was really excited to get into the U21s but he had his best mate going out of the group in less than two days after Jude went into the senior players so some of the other players got around him and helped him to settle.
“Without putting pressure on either of the guys, they are both in a system that allows players to grow if you do well which means you get opportunities, like Jude shows. That’s whether he comes back to us or not and he won’t be the last player to get into that senior area.
“We are pleased for him and excited about what he can do in the future.”
In Bellingham’s absence, Boothroyd said his former Blues teammate Callum Hudson-Odoi is helping him adapt to the group: “Callum, I have to say, is a very friendly character so like the other boys he has taken Jamal under his wing to help him relax and play his football.”