You could argue it was just an average game for Jamal Musiala against Hoffenheim. The 19-year-old scored his sixth goal in his tenth Bundesliga game this season. Add five assists, and Musiala had a wonderful start to the season for Bayern Munich this year.
Against Hoffenheim, Musiala had 43 touches and completed 80% of his passes. The attacking midfielder had an xG of 0.52 and an xG on target of 0.67. Not an outstanding day for the super talent, but still enough to make a difference for the Rekordmeister on Saturday afternoon.
Such has been the brilliance this season that Bayern fans have almost gotten used to the goals and assists produced by Musiala. Across all competitions, Musiala has now scored nine goals and eight assists in 16 games, more than in 40 games last season. It is a big step forward for Germany’s most talented fit player—Florian Wirtz certainly also has a case here—ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
“I love scoring goals,” Musiala said to Bundesliga.com after the Hoffenheim game on Saturday when asked about the uptick in his goalscoring production. “I always feel good when I score a goal. I try to get myself in a position to score as many goals as possible, and when I am in front of the goal, I try to be as consistent as possible.”
With matchday 11 in the books for Bayern, Musiala now leads the league with 11 scorer points ahead of Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug (10) and Union Berlin’s Sheraldo Becker (10); the second will be in action with his side against Bochum on Sunday. The 19-year-old certainly has answered the call when questions about Bayern’s goalscoring were asked after the departure of Robert Lewandowski.
And Musiala certainly has been effective. A quick glance on Wyscout highlights that the 19-year-old has been deadly in front of goal-scoring his 11 scorer points of a combined xG and xA of just 5.89, which ranks him eighth in the Bundesliga. Musiala has been more effective than teammates Leroy Sané (6.18 scorer points: 7) and Thomas Müller (6.24 scorer points: 5)—he has also been more effective than in-demand Christopher Nkunku (7.57 scorer points: 8).
Another aspect that has made Musiala dangerous this season has been his activity in the box. Among Bundesliga players, only Mané (6.86) had more touches per 90 minutes inside the box than Musiala (6.36).
But it is not just the overall touches in the box that make Musiala dangerous but also where he has them and what he does with the space. The two goals scored this week in the DFB Pokal against Augsburg, and the goal on Saturday against Hoffenheim show the variety of the dangerous moments he creates in front of the goal.
The first, against Augsburg, was a goal created after a wonderful solo by teammate Alphonso Davies; Musiala then creates space out of nothing and then slots the ball into the far corner. It was the sort of goal that earned him the nickname Bambi, for the erratic movements on the ball that make him impossible to defend at times. The goal against Hoffenheim then was of the typical no.9 type; escaping his defense after a corner, Musiala slotted it past goalkeeper Oliver Baumann from a difficult ankle.
Both goals had their own aesthetic but also underline what has made Musiala dangerous this season. The 19-year-old is effective both in creating chances and putting them away. His ability to produce one-v-one moments and win them is another aspect. On his current form, he might be the best player in the Bundesliga and Germany’s biggest hope in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.