Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann says he is delighted with the progress Jamal Musiala has made this season, as well as that of United States international Chris Richards, who was loaned out to Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Musiala has made 22 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern so far in 2021/22, including nine starts, while three of his six UEFA Champions League appearances this season have also been in the first XI.
Aged just 19 – Musiala won’t turn 20 until February next year – Nagelsmann is in no doubt about the quality of the Germany international but believes he has made great progress in terms of production steady supply of merchandise in recent weeks.
look: The best of Musiala
“His development is good, he’s becoming more consistent,” the tactician said in his press conference ahead of Bayern’s Matchday 26 trip to Hoffenheim, where Musiala is set to become Bayern’s youngest ever player at reach 50 Bundesliga appearances.
“There are still two or three moments per game in terms of decision-making when he wants to hold onto the ball for too long when he’s in a deeper position, but it’s a matter of adapting to being in that position.”
An attacking midfielder by trade, Musiala, who has three Bundesliga goals and four assists to his name this season, has been deployed further in recent weeks due to injuries to Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso, among others, and has forged a good agreement. alongside Joshua Kimmich in midfield
“He did well in the four games before Christmas, where there were a lot of injured and absent players, with COVID-19 and injury,” Nagelsmann continued, devoting a minute and a half of the 15-minute press conference to the analysis of Musiala. progress.
Among the big boys, Musiala is part of the first team furniture alongside Joshua Kimmich (l.) and Thomas Müller (c.). – Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty
“He really improved his reliability. He has great quality in attack, is very confident on the ball and the way he can get out of different pressure situations is extraordinary. Very well.
“I think he’s had problems over the last couple of years performing consistently over several games. He’s always played well in the four games leading up to Christmas. He’s now played well game after game, getting through the next stage of its development, which is to be able to start several matches in a row and to reach the same level, always on the rise.
“When you’re 17 or 18, it’s normal that after two or three games in a row you might have a dip, but he’s got that under control now. He’s extremely important for us. I hope that continues. We are delighted to have him with us.
Musiala is set to start a third straight Bundesliga game when Bayern travel to fourth-placed Hoffenheim on Saturday, with the home side looking to extend their winning streak to five games in a row.
look: Musiala’s Bundesliga mixtape
One player already ruled out of the game, however, is Richards, who enjoys a successful second loan spell alongside Bayern’s Sebastian Hoeneß.
The 21-year-old hasn’t played since late January due to a foot injury, but Nagelsmann is still watching the six-time United States international closely.
“He is developing well [in Hoffenheim]. That’s what he needs. It’s perfect for him. He knows the coach very well, and the coach knows him too. It’s perfect game-wise. He’s got a really good role there and is kind of a leader – he’s dragging them from the back.
look: Chris Richards: Hoffenheim like home
“That’s exactly the kind of result you expect from loan deals like this, that the players get the playing time they need. The fact that he plays is the key factor. With us he wouldn’t have not played as much as he does at Hoffenheim, or at least as much as he does when he is fit.
“It’s a shame he can’t play this weekend. I hope he returns to fitness soon to continue his development. We’ll have to see what the future holds, but we’ll decide that together. .