Bayern Munich rising star Jamal Musiala has chosen to play for Germany instead of England at international level.
The 17-year-old could make his senior debut as early as next month, with Germany head coach Joachim Low expected to name a large squad for their three World Cup qualifiers against Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia.
Musiala was born in Germany but moved to England when he was seven when his mother began a degree at Southampton University. He spent eight years in Chelsea’s academy and played at youth level for England and Germany before returning to Bayern in 2019.
The 17-year-old has since broken into Hansi Flick’s first-team plans and has already made 25 appearances in all competitions this season, mostly as a substitute. He scored in Bayern’s 4-1 Champions League last-16 first-leg win over Lazio on Tuesday to become the youngest English player to score in the competition and the second-youngest of any nationality to get a goal in the knockout phase.
17 – Aged 17 years and 363 days, Jamal Musiala has become the youngest ever Englishman to score in the UEFA Champions League. Blossoming. pic.twitter.com/rdGML43vyZ
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 23, 2021
Speaking to The Athletic about his deliberations over his international future, Musiala said: “I’ve thought about this question a lot. What is best for my future? Where do I have more chances to play?
“In the end, I just listened to the feeling that over a long period of time kept telling me that it was the right decision to play for Germany, the land I was born in. Still, it wasn’t an easy decision for me.
“England is home for me. It is difficult to find words for what England means for me because I have so many memories connected to very positive emotions.
“They [Chelsea and England’s Football Association] are family for me, and I am sure that I remain a member of the family, even though I’m no longer there. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without the trust and support of Chelsea and the FA, throughout the hard times and fun times. It wasn’t always easy, but they made me the player I am now.”
Low, who met with Musiala in recent weeks along with national team director Oliver Bierhoff, said of the news: “Obviously, we cannot give him any guarantees at the moment. That wouldn’t be right.
“I think we will call him up in March because we will have a bigger squad than usual due to having three games in quick succession. We will be able to get to know one another better during this time.
“I’m pleased that Jamal has decided to play for Germany in the future. I see a lot of potential in him.”