Samuel Eto’o has advised his former club Barcelona that Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko could be the man to replace Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.
The 39-year-old was asked by Goal’s Ed Dove “who he’d love to see as Barcelona’s next big signing” and opted for the highly-rated 15-year-old. Eto’o also wants to see Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe head to the Catalan Giants.
[There’s] a young player who plays for Dortmund called Youssoufa Moukoko. [He’s] 15 years of age, and he’s the next top player, for me, after Messi. As Messi gets older, we could prepare the future of Barcelona very well. With Antoine [Griezmann] and Youssoufa [up front together], that team would go forward very well, [I’d like to see] Kylian Mbappe at Barcelona also.
It’s something of a surprise choice from Eto’o as Moukoko is still yet to make his senior debut for Dortmund and will not be eligible until he turns 16 in November. Yet given his current trajectory fans may not have to wait too much longer to see the talented teenager debut.
He’s already caught the eye with Dortmund’s youth teams this season, and his prolific form will not have gone unnoticed by manager Lucien Favre.
Moukoko also broke the Bundesliga Under-19 scoring record last season. He netted 34 times for Dortmund, a year after making more history by scoring 50 league goals for the Under-17 team.
Favre has already admitted the youngster is already in his thoughts for the future but was giving very little away about when discussing when he could make his first-team debut. “We have a plan with him, but I can’t say exactly when he’ll join us. Maybe in March, but we still have to wait on a few things.”
Dortmund will be hoping Moukoko can be the latest starlet to come through the ranks at the Bundesliga club. BVB is well-known for nurturing young talent and has another raft of exciting youngsters at the club currently including Gio Reyna, Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham.
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Messi Knows All About Moukoko
Meanwhile, Messi knows all about Moukoko already. The Barcelona captain sent the young forward a personalized picture for his 15th birthday.
The Dortmund star expressed his thanks with a post on Instagram: “Oh my god! Got this as a gift from my idol. Many thanks, Leo Messi. Thanks for all your birthday wishes.”
Moukoko has previously told SportBild that Messi is his role model because “nobody else can do what he does.” The teenager also outlined his career ambitions in the same interview: “To be honest, my goal is to become a professional player with Borussia Dortmund, win the Champions League with BVB and win the Ballon d’Or.”
There’s no doubt that Moukoko is one of the most exciting youngsters in European football currently, and Eto’o’s comments show just how highly he rates the Dortmund wonderkid.
Barcelona still has Messi for at least the current season, but his future after that remains uncertain. The 33-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, and it’s not yet known if he will renew.