There are a lot of players making headlines in the Liverpool academy these days, but few have the same level of hype as Polish winger Mateusz Musialowski.
The 17-year-old wonderkid, who joined in 2020 amid interest from some of Europe’s top sides, recently put pen to paper on his first professional contract at Anfield and is seen as a potential superstar in the making.
If you don’t know much about Musialowski yet, here’s a cheat sheet for you.
Musialowski scores a lot of goals, and most of them are worldies.
One of the best from his time at Liverpool so far came against Newcastle’s Under-18s in March, with Musialowski stealing the show by weaving his way through five players before firing home into the top corner.
It won Musialowski the club’s goal of the month for March 2020, ending Mohamed Salah’s six-month winning streak in the process and eventually winning the Premier League Under-18 goal of the season prize.
Comparisons to Lionel Messi have followed Musialowski for years, and the player himself admits to trying to mimic the Argentine on the pitch.
“When I see the space, I just go for it. I have seen a lot of Lionel Messi goals like that, so I try to be like him and I want to repeat it,” he told the club’s official website.
“I love to take the ball, just dribble through everyone. This is my style of playing football. When I dribble (past) the first player, I feel more confident, but when I just start running, I just go.
“Coaches from Poland and here never told me to stop, so that’s why I continue!”
Musialowski impressed almost immediately after arriving in England, so much so that he has already spent time with the first team and even played a starring role in a intrasquad friendly back in March.
His viral emergence started with a great highlight from that game, after which some at the club began to quietly compare Musialowski to Eden Hazard, who terrorised the Premier League with Chelsea between 2012 and 2019.
Regardless of who you want to compare him to, you can see what people think of his play style.
Players scoring stupid numbers of goals at youth level isn’t exactly unheard of, but Musialowski took that a little further than most.
In 88 games for Polish side SMS Lodz, he plundered no fewer than 133 goals. Not bad.
He then went on to score in his first two starts for Liverpool’s youth sides and bagged another two in his first outing in the FA Youth Cup.
Musialowski is happiest over on the left wing, which is where most of his goals come from, but he’s just as comfortable shifting around in attack if needed.
Liverpool have frequently deployed him as a 10 and even as a second striker, while in Poland, he spent time on the right wing as well.
His future lies on the left wing, but don’t be surprised to see Musialowski earn more minutes elsewhere.
Musialowski’s stock is rising at an astronomical rate in England, but it’s been that way for years in Poland.
In fact, back in 2014, national legend and chairman of the Polish FA Zbigniew Boniek went out on a limb by urging his Twitter followers to ‘remember the name’ Mateusz Musialowski.
That praise came when the youngster kicking about in the Under-14s, and so far, it seems like a good bit of advice.
Liverpool landing Musialowski was actually somewhat of a coup as all the signs suggested they had missed out on his signature to Arsenal.
The Gunners took Musialowski on trial and had a contract drawn up, but because of some confusion created when Arsenal rejigged their scouting set-up, he ended up slipping through the cracks.
Manchester City were keen, as were a number of other sides from across Europe, but Liverpool lured him in after watching him on trial for a week.
It didn’t take Musialowski long to figure out the divide on Merseyside. In February 2021, he bagged the last-minute winner in a derby against Everton’s Under-18 and confessed to loving that goal a little more than most others.
“I understand [how big that is],” he admitted. “It was a big game. I made a mistake for their goal, I lost the ball in the midfield, so I knew I had to do something, and I did.
“I know it was a big game and I am really happy to have scored that goal.”