Youssoufa Moukoko quickly came up with a plan for the rest of the evening after scoring another goal in the U21 team. "If the boys want to go out, I'm there and will pay everything," the 18-year-old top talent spontaneously announced after his hat-trick for the German youth team.
In the important 3:2 (1:1) in the European Championship qualification against Bulgaria in Sofia, Moukoko was once again the decisive player. “I know where the goal is,” said the attacker with a grin.
Few appearances at BVB
The two-time senior international is still having a disappointing season at Borussia Dortmund. He only made six substitute appearances in all competitions, and he only managed one goal in the DFB Cup in a 6-1 win against Schott Mainz. In the U21, however, the goalscorer scores in almost every game and now has an impressive tally of eleven goals in nine games. "The boys are always looking for me in the penalty area, I get the balls I need. The striker has to score the goals, I did that today," said Moukoko.
The goals give him self-confidence - and so, like in the 2-1 win, an almost impossible goal is scored. The opposing goalkeeper let Moukoko's completely harmless shot attempt from a tight angle slip through his legs. "I've never scored a goal like that before. I didn't even see that the ball was in there," reported Moukoko.
The striker's strong performances in the U21 should not have gone unnoticed by the new national coach Julian Nagelsmann, even though the coach is currently traveling with his team in the USA. The exchange between Nagelsmann and Antonio Di Salvo is already close, as the U21 coach reported. But he has “no worries at all” that he might miss his goal guarantor Moukoko in the next qualifying games because he has been called up for the senior team. "It's our job to prepare the players."
Adeyemi in form
Moukoko's club colleague Karim Adeyemi could also be a candidate for Nagelsmann again, even if the 21-year-old is currently in poor form and has not been able to advertise himself in the U21. Di Salvo was still happy with the winger, who played for the U21s for the first time since June 2021. “He integrated really well and accepted the U21,” praised the coach. "I was aware beforehand that not everything would work out; it's not that easy to flip the switch."
Like Moukoko, Adeyemi is currently finding it difficult to play in the strong BVB squad. The four-time senior national player recently sat on the bench for 90 minutes twice in the league. “Of course the competitive situation in Dortmund is different,” said Di Salvo, referring to Moukoko’s chances of playing. It is all the more important that the striker makes optimal use of his time in the U21. "His goal rate shows that he feels very comfortable here."
Moukoko also confirmed this. “It’s really good for me,” he said about his time in the youth team. "You can see that I'm in the right place here. In the end, it's also about trust. The coach trusts me and I give that back." Di Salvo reported many conversations and a “good relationship” with Moukoko. However, Di Salvo still didn't want to accept his striker's invitation to a night out in Sofia. "I'll definitely go to bed," the coach announced with a smile.