According to the latest reports, Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp are leading the race to sign 20-year-old USMNT and Valencia midfielder Yunus Musah for a modest transfer fee of just over $20 million.
On Wednesday in Valencia's Supercopa de España semifinal against Real Madrid, Musah only added to his value with a defensive performance not unlike the rousing displays he gave against England and Iran in Qatar.
With Musah's midfield partner André Almeida taking more of the ball and trying to get Valencia forward, Musah worked to shield his defense from the roaming play of Karim Benzema, the forward driving runs of Federico Valverde and the inside cuts of Vini Jr.
For 90 minutes of regular time, Musah went toe-to-toe with Real's midfield of Toni Kroos, Eduardo Camavinga and Valverde, and he didn't blink when Luka Modrić replaced Camavinga at halftime.
Musah made two interceptions, one clearance and one tackle. He was also clever enough to escape a booking while committing five fouls — that certainly served to disrupt Real's attack. In possession, Musah was exceptionally clean while completing 46 of 49 passes (94%) and creating one chance.
Everything about his game is so fine-tuned and masterly and he just turned 20 on Nov. 29. When Valencia manager Gennaro Gattuso took the American off five minutes into extra time, the legendary Italian defensive midfielder clearly appreciated the performance.
Real's only goal was a penalty earned and converted by Benzema in the 39th minute, but Samuel Lino got Valencia's equalizer just after halftime.
Benzema scores in his 8th-straight match against Valencia @ESPNFC pic.twitter.com/xl4f7ERfyn— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) January 11, 2023
VALENCIA EQUALIZE AGAINST REAL MADRID IN THE SUPERCOPA DE ESPANA! pic.twitter.com/B7PdEDUpCP— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) January 11, 2023
The match eventually went to a penalty shootout with Real winning 4-3 after misses from Valencia's Eray Cömert and José Gayà.
Los Blancos play the winner of tomorrow's other semifinal between Barcelona and Real Betis on Sunday.