CSKA Moscow forward, Ahmed Musa, is close to finalising a move to Premier League champions, Leicester City. He had been linked since last season to current EPL champions even though his team rejected a bid from the foxes.
Indeed, prior to his years with CSKA Moscow, there were a few obvious indicators that Musa would excel at the top level.
Musa began his career in Jos with GBS Academy in 2008. He was then loaned out the same year to JUTH FC for two seasons where he played 18 games and scored 4 goals. He was later loaned to Kano Pillars FC in 2009 where he was pivotal for Pillars in the 09/10 campaign as they finished second. It was this season Musa set the record for the highest goals ever scored in a season (18 goals) in the history of the Nigerian Premier League.
This record was however erased by the 20 goals of Kaduna United’s Jude Aneke in 2011. Musa then signed for dutch club VVV-Venlo in 2010, spending 2 seasons and scoring 8 goals.
Musa signed on 7 January 2012 for Russian club CSKA Moscow for an undisclosed fee and went on to score 42 goals in 125 appearances for the club.
Due to his style of play, he is ready-made for the pace and physicality of English football. At 1.68m he is not a tall player but he is primarily known to be a fast dribbling and creative player who likes to cut inside and become a thorn in the flesh of full-backs.
Due to these attributes Musa has been known to score great goals. Let us not forget his wonder brace against Argentina in the 2014 world cup.
He is also known to be versatile, as he can play up-front and on both wings. He also has defensive ethics which is an additional advantage to wingers in the EPL who often have to track back and check overlapping full-backs.
His reaction is quick in and around the opposition’s area and using his attacking instincts, he often finds space to get a shot away. Yet, while he enjoys playing on the shoulder of the last defender, he can also drop deeper. Musa’s movement is intelligent and his combination play is great as he was known for his fruitful partnership with Ivorian, Seydou Doumbia.
Tactically, Leicester lined up with two strikers for much of last season playing a 4-4-2 formation. Vardy was used as the pointman, while Okazaki as a supporting forward. Although in signing Musa, the champions are bringing in an inside forward who operates well on the break, he is also a possible partner for Vardy next season and obviously not a replacement.
Musa will be played on the wings used as an outlet during attack due to his pace, as the Foxes are known to play counter-attacking football under Claudio Ranieri, thereby easing the burden on Mahrez.
According to reports the transfer fee to secure the new arrival’s signature was just £16.6 million, a club record fee which will undoubtedly be inconsequential seeing as they are now Champions.
Musa at the top of his game will turn out to be a bargain for the champions and they will only hope his campaign will be injury free.