The Oklahoma City Thunder won the draft. This was the first year in my Thunder fandom where I was nervous about the draft. This was going to be the make-or-break it for the rebuild. For Thunder fans in the last ten years, the draft meant drafting raw athletic long-term projects with later picks. Players like Josh Huestis, Terrance Ferguson, and...
Far-Fetched Friday: Jamal Musiala Finishes Top-3 Ballon d’Or in 2023
Jamal Musiala is one of the best youth prospects in soccer, but it does not always feel that way. Behind the many stars of Bayern Munich, the 19 year old has taken a back seat since his breakthrough a couple of seasons ago. Well, I am here to say, with the imminent exit of Robert Lewandowski and other changes at the club, Musiala is prompt to have the kind of season that will make him a top-3 Ballon d'Or candidate next season.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at one of the least talked about elite prospects in soccer.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the odds of this are very unlikely, but that is precisely the spirit of the Far-Fetched Friday series. And the truth is, when you consider the current state of Bayer Munich, there is a very real chance that Musiala becomes their star player next season.
Robert Lewandowski wants to leave, and the club is terrified of losing a player like Gnabry on a free after the Alaba and Niklas Sule debacle, so they might sell him this summer before his contract runs out next season. And if Gnabry and Lewandowski leave, there goes two of their top 3 in goal + assists per 90 minutes last season. Musiala comes in at fifth, so the only players left in front of him would be Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane, two proven commodities.
In addition, Gnabry and Lewandowski were the only two players to reach double-digit Bundesliga goals for Bayern Munich last season. And I'm not saying Musiala will suddenly become an elite goal scorer; it is more to say the opportunity will be there for a player who is one of the best prospects Germany has ever had.
And speaking of Germany, that is the X-factor of this prediction.
This coming World Cup cycle doesn't affect this year's Ballon d'Or, it affects next year's race. So, if Musiala looks far and away like Germany's best player, as he has more and more often recently, then that kind of impact will leave a lasting taste on who we consider some of the best players in the world.
There are other outside factors like Gnabry ultimately staying or the completion of the Sadio Mane transfer, but all in all, what we do know is Musiala is heading for a lot more playing time next season. And when playing time meets elite talent, the sky is the limit.
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