Younes Musa has pledged his future to the USMNT despite being eligible to play for England, Ghana and Italy.
The 18-year-old made his senior debut for Valencia against city rivals Levante in September, while he scored his first La Liga goal in a 2-2 draw with Getafe on November 1.
Las Chi’s gain is Arsenal’s loss as the midfielder is a former Gunner, having spent seven years at the north London youth academy before moving to Spain last summer.
? 17 years, 338 days.
?????? Youngest English player ever to score in #LaLigaSantander.
? Yunus Musa = #LaLigaHistory ?#ValenciaGetafe pic.twitter.com/ZtVCDFwJCD
— La Liga English (@LaLigaEN) November 1, 2020
Moses is the latest name to be added to a growing list of English starlets playing their football abroad as they seek a quicker route to first-team football, but who is the youngster who has Left the Premier League?
Musa says passing is one of his key attributes – as a midfielder, he’s probably right / Eric Alonso/Getty Images
Young is primarily a central midfielder who is most comfortable and suited to a box-to-box role. His technical ability, range of passing and quick feet combined with his natural athleticism mean he is a difficult man to stop in the middle of the park for anyone he faces.
On his style, Musa previously said: “I’m a passer and also physical, I can run past players because I’m a bit bigger than some of them, I’m really good at passing, I create a lot of opportunities. can produce. And this season I am trying to improve my scoring rate.”
Head coach Javi Gracia asked him to play on the wing during his debut at the weekend but it’s not a role Moses is unfamiliar with. He often featured either at the back or in a more attacking central role during his youth academy days but is thought to eventually settle into his preferred position.
Moses was eligible for England, USA, Italy and Ghana / James Bayless – AMA/Getty Images
Musa represented England at youth level, making a total of 22 appearances, scoring four goals. He last played for the Under-18s in 2019 and is considered one of the brightest prospects of his age.
But the Three Lions lost the battle for the young prospect’s international loyalty. Musa was born in New York, moved to Italy at a very young age and is of Ghanaian descent. He joined the Arsenal set-up back in 2012 as a nine-year-old, but eventually decided to play for the USA.
Became the first Englishman to play for Musa Valencia / Jose Jordan / Getty Images
When Musa decided to swap life at the Emirates for a chance at the Mestalla, he became the latest young English prospect to move abroad, citing a clear path to first-team football.
However, as most of his compatriots followed in Jadon Sancho’s footsteps to the Bundesliga, Musa decided to make his own way.
Of course, the former Arsenal midfielder is not the first English player to play in La Liga, but he is the first to play for Valencia. The six-time Spanish champions are one of the biggest sides outside the Clasico clubs, but after a disappointing ninth-placed finish in 2019/20, they have embarked on a serious fire sale.
With the likes of Ferran Torres, Rodrigo Moreno, Francis Coquelin, Ezequiel Garay and Dani Prejo, opportunities have opened up for talented youngsters like Moses.
With his fantastic solo effort against Getafe, Moses (aged 17 and 338 days) became the youngest Englishman to score in La Liga and the youngest foreigner to score for Valencia.
Moses was part of a large group to leave Arsenal’s academy last summer / Quality Sport Images / Getty Images
12 months ago, Arsenal embarked on a summer clear-out, leaving an array of academy prospects for pastures new.
Xavier Amaechi moved to Hamburg for £2.25m, left-back Dominic Thompson was sold to Brentford for £3m, while Vontae Daly-Campbell joined Leicester, Charlie Gilmour signed for Norwich, Spanish defender Julio Plaguillo added a twenty and a body. Moved to Watford.
But it is Moses’ decision to leave that he seems to regret. He turned down a scholarship deal at the age of 16 that would have seen him sign a professional contract a year later, but was unconvinced by the Emirates offer. Weapons’ lack of persuasive powers may come back to haunt them in the near future.