The question in the title is obviously a silly one. Of course we should buy him if he is as good as Messi, but although Athletic Bilbao’s Iker Muniain has been likened to the Argentinean wizard, is he actually as good as him? The 18 year old has been linked with Liverpool in recent days, so what do we know of him?
A product of Bilbao’s youth academy, the Basque became the team’s youngest ever player in July 2009 when he came on as a substitute against Switzerland’s BSC Young Boys in a Europa League qualifier, aged just 16 years, 7 months and 11 days. He then became the youngest player ever to score for the club when he scored in the return leg, helping Bilbao into the group stages.
In August 2009, Muniain made his league debut against Espanyol, and it wasn’t long before he broke another record, by scoring his first league goal against Real Valladolid in a 2-2 draw, making him the youngest player to ever score in La Liga, aged just 16 years and 289 days.
When he initially broke into the side, he played mostly as a support striker, but he prefers to play on the wings, and this campaign he has established himself as a left winger in Joaquin Caparros’s midfield. His style of play is rightly compared to Lionel Messi as at 5ft 6, he possesses great speed and agility on the ball with a similar low centre of gravity, and like the Argentine genius, he is also truly two footed, and possesses great technique and ball control.
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