Thomas Hitzlsperger’s BBC Sport column: ‘Don’t worry England fans – I missed out on Jamal Musiala too’

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Like most German fans, I felt Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala would be key to our hopes at these Euros, and they were our two outstanding players against Scotland.

I know there is a lot of talk back in England about how they missed out on Musiala – who grew up in London, was in Chelsea’s academy and played for England at youth level – but I have to admit I missed out on him as well.

During the 2018-19 season I was head of Stuttgart’s academy and made the trip to England to watch him, because there were rumours Musiala was willing to leave Chelsea and that you could sign him.

He had a connection to Stuttgart, because his mother is from the area and he was born in the city, so I went to see him play for Chelsea’s academy against Brighton.

I will never forget it, because I went back to Germany thinking that, in possession, he was interesting, and had something about him – but without the ball, he just switched off. He just didn’t track back.

We kept watching him, but it wasn’t a case where you see a player and immediately think we need to do everything to get him.

That’s what I always think the beauty of scouting is because, of course now, everyone would say that it was always clear he would become a super player.

But that day, while I thought we should keep an eye out for him, it was not obvious that he would definitely become a Champions League player or full international.


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