Coach explains big change in Mateusz Musialowski after transfer collapse

Mateusz Musialowski saw a move away from Liverpool collapse at the end of the transfer window, but has “risen” to the challenge since after “buying in.”

Musialowski, whose contract expires in 2024, was in line to join Austrian side TSV Hartberg on a free transfer in the final days of the summer.

But a deal fell through after Liverpool attempted to renegotiate on a fee, with the forward instead left to stay on Merseyside.

The 19-year-old has been a regular presence since, starting seven of a possible nine games with four goals and two assists, including efforts against senior opposition in Morecambe and Blackpool.

It comes after a campaign in which Musialowski was in and out of the side under Barry Lewtas, starting only 13 of his 22 appearances in the entirety of 2022/23.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 14, 2023: Liverpool's Mateusz Musialowski scores the opening goal during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Everton FC Under-21's, the Mini-Merseyside Derby, at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo after a goal and assist in the EFL Trophy defeat to Blackpool on Tuesday, the U21s coach explained how the Pole has finally found “real consistency.”

“He’s been brilliant. This season, in terms of his level of consistency, without question it has risen,” Lewtas said.

“He’s taking more responsibility for his all-round game and he commits to every phase of the game now.

“Defensively he’s strong and buying in.

“No-one can doubt his ability to dribble the ball, he can dribble past most, but he is finding a real consistency in his game.”

BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 10, 2023: Liverpool's Mateusz Musialowski (R) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the second goal during the English Football League Trophy Northern Group A match between Blackpool FC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Bloomfield Road. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It had long been a weakness of Musialowski’s that he allowed himself to drift in and out of games, with concerns over his application off the ball.

But as one of the most experienced players in the U21s squad – and often, as the 5-2 loss to Blackpool showed, one of few proven attacking options – he looks to have stepped up.

That this comes in the wake of a proposed transfer falling through could suggest a wakeup call for the teenager, who is not regularly involved in first-team training.

The likelihood is that he departs Liverpool, either in January or next summer when his contract runs out, but perhaps his new outlook could catch the eye of senior staff before then.