Who is Yunus Musah? The Valencia midfielder going to Qatar with the USMNT
Yunus Musah became the first American to sign for Valencia when he joined the LaLiga side from Arsenal in 2019.
There is a lot of excitement about 19-year-old Yunus Musah heading into the World Cup. With eligibility for England, Ghana, Italy and the United States, he chose to represent the USA in international competition in March 2021.
“I think it was pretty clear for me to decide to play for the United States. First of all, I think it makes sense to represent the country I was born in. The moment I decided to play for the United States came one day when my heart told me that this was the best place for me. The project that we have now and for the future is so exciting, and it’s a great pleasure to be able to be a part of that. I can’t wait to get started,” the Valencia player said.
Joins Valencia from Arsenal
Musah became the first American to sign for Valencia when he joined the LaLiga side from Arsenal in 2019. Quick, strong and willing to receive the ball at every opportunity, he is a key part of Gennaro Gattuso’s setup at Mestalla.
His versatility means that he can play as a box-to-box midfielder as well as an attacking winger. The USMNT player offers energy, pace and power in Gattuso’s engine room, along with positional intelligence.
A manager’s dream, he is capable of playing in multiple roles, notably in central midfield, wide of the midfield two or three and also further forward.
His journey in Spain began when he joined Valencia’s B team in 2019 on a free transfer and it only took the youngster a year to find his way into the Valencia first team and starting eleven.
Valencia’s manager at the time, Javi Gracia, who joined in the summer of 2020, was so impressed by Yunus that he made him a regular starter for Los Che despite his age.
He has grown at Valencia this season, operating in a more central role as he matures into an all-round midfielder. On matchday four in LaLiga, he produced a big performance in Valencia’s 5-1 win over Getafe at Mestalla, demonstrating why numerous managers believe in his quality.
World Cup with USMNT
Musah played 85 minutes in Valencia’s final match before the World Cup, an impressive 3-0 victory at home to Real Betis in midweek. In 11 league matches this season, he has played 849 minutes and provided two assists. For the USMNT, he has featured 19 times and will be a key part of Gregg Berhalter’s team in Group B.
At just 19, Musah is still developing and will have bouts of inconsistency, but he has played 82 times for Valencia and there is no better stage to showcase his talent than at a World Cup.