The Kosovo U21’s are playing against Germany. It’s 0-0 in the 73rd minute. Youssoufa Moukoko picks up a bad clearance from a Kosovo defender, and after a single quick touch, he half-volleys the ball straight into the top left corner from 13 yards out. Mouki celebrates with a light shrug. In the 77th minute, Moukoko controls a ball from Nick Woltemade inside the penalty area. In his controlling motion, he takes out a defender and the goalkeeper with a fake shot with his left foot, while using his right foot to poke the ball into the net, making it 0-2 within just four minutes.
These goals are just two of very many examples of Youssoufa Moukoko’s innate finishing ability. It’s these abilities that saw Mouki net a ridiculous 141 goals in 88 appearances for Dortmund’s U17 and U19 teams. It’s the same abilities that managed to make him the youngest ever Bundesliga goal-scorer, as well as the youngest ever goal-scorer in a Revierderby. And finally, it’s that kind of talent that made none other than Erling Haaland brand him the biggest talent in the world back in 2020.
It’s safe to say that Mouki’s development has slowed down a bit since joining BVB’s first team. He has now been with the first team for almost three full seasons, and while he hasn’t exactly contributed with goals for a long stretch of games, his Bundesliga stats are still very promising as seen from my expertly crafted table below:
If you really let these stats sink in for a bit, they’re actually ridiculous. Across 1744 minutes (approximately 19 whole games of football), Mouki has averaged a goal contribution every 97 minutes, an absolutely bonkers return for a player who turned 18 last November. I doubt anyone would have actually expected Moukoko to manage a goal contribution every game on senior level, but so far he has done exactly that.
So far this season, Mouki has been fielded 41 minutes across three games, which means that he — on average — has been subbed on in the 76th minute every game. If you ask me, this is a very harsh treatment of our young striker — especially if you consider how Sebastien Haller has started out his season. You could argue that Haller’s return is a product of the team’s overall performance. While that might be true, I do think Terzic should try and be less reliant on Haller (or tall strikers in general), because there’s a world class talent on the bench, and his development is currently stalling.
With the latest purchase of Niclas Füllkrug from Werder Bremen, it’s hard to imagine Moukoko getting much playing time this season. We could ask ourselves why BVB decided to renew his contract in the first place, and for that, I do feel like I still need answers. Moukoko would surely be a starter for a team like Werder Bremen, so it does seem kinda strange the we spend 15 million euros on their first team striker. And yes — I understand there’s some tactical aspects to account for, but even then I still think it’s highly counteractive to actively spend money to halt the development of a potential future striker for the German national team (they really need one).
Luckily, Mouki is still only 18 years old. He has a long career ahead of him, but there are currently many indications that his tenure at Borussia Dortmund might be over. We have seen Sancho, Haaland and Bellingham go, but honestly, we still have a world class talent at our hands — we just seem to have forgotten it. To be honest, I have a really hard time forgiving Terzic for butchering the transfer window, but I equally detest his decision to actively hinder the development of Youssoufa Moukoko.
Do you believe Moukoko has a future in Dortmund? And do you think he can turn out as the world class striker we all expected him to be? Let me know in the comments below.