Ex-Arsenal wonderkid Musah, 17, is the first Englishman to play for Valencia and has captained England's youth teams

Ex-Arsenal wonderkid Musah, 17, is the first Englishman to play for Valencia and has captained England's youth teams

THEY might just regret letting this one go.

In 2019 Yunus Musah was allowed to leave Arsenal, after seven years training at their Hale End academy, for pastures new.


There were rumblings inside the club that coaches believed it was a serious mistake to grant the talented midfielder, capped by England at youth level, a move to Valencia.

But Arsenal's loss is the La Liga giants gain – with Musah, 17, growing in confidence in Spain.

Last weekend, the outstanding midfielder made his debut for Los Che in a 4-2 win over Levante UD, and he is expected to be in the squad for tomorrow's clash against Celta Vigo.

He is the first Englishman to have played for Valencia, and the club's all-time youngest foreign player. Here's his story.

BORN IN NY, RAISED IN LONDON

Musah was born in New York, where his mum was on holiday at the time.

The family, of Ghanaian descent, lived in Italy until he was nine where he played for local team Giorgione.

They then moved to London and he was immediately snapped up by Arsenal, eventually graduating from their Hale End academy.

Musah was highly-rated in North London, having played a significant role in helping the U18 side win the Premier League in 2019 – scoring five goals in 17 appearances.

But last year he felt Valencia offered him a better pathway towards first-team football, and it appears that was the right decision for the exciting youngster.



INTERNATIONAL PEDIGREE

Born in the USA, with Ghanaian parents and having UK and Italian citizenship means Musah can play for all those countries.

But, so far, he's been loyal to England – playing internationally at U15, U16, U17, and most recently U18 level.

He's also been named Three Lions captain a number of times, and is seen as a real leader of his generation.

Should he continue his rapid ascension in the game, expect Italy, Ghana and the USA to test the waters of his loyalty to see if he will switch allegiances.

WHAT KIND OF PLAYER IS HE?

An attacking midfielder with an eye for a pass, Musah is strong on the ball.

His athleticism allows him to run past players with ease and create opportunities for his team-mates.

Able to play as a NO10 or out wide, he also boasts fine dribbling skills and has an eye for goal.

But he's a sucker for perfection and knows where he needs to improve.


"I want to score more goals and be more consistent with my passes as well," he said.

"Sometimes in the game I can do so many good passes and one bad one, I want to correct that."

PRAISE BE

Musah is expected to feature plenty more times for Valencia this season, and has the backing of his manager.

He already speaks excellent Spanish and was seen on his debut constantly talking to his team-mates and showing a self-confidence needed to be a success.

His coach Javi Gracia highlighted Musah's maturity in his post match press conference after the Levante match, insisting that he believes the wonderkid has the ability and mindset to reach the very top.

With Arsenal looking to add midfielders like Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar to their squad, they might've missed a trick not integrating Musah into their first team set-up sooner.


 

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