Mateusz Musialowski is a familar name for Liverpool supporters who have been following the Reds’ youth teams recently.
The teenage Polish forward enjoyed an outstanding debut season with Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s under-18s last year as he helped guide the young Reds to the final of the FA Youth Cup in May.
And despite only moving to Merseyside last summer, Musialowski’s name gained the attraction of supporters worldwide as he fended off competition from the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to win the club’s goal of the month award in April, for his scintillating solo goal against Newcastle United during an academy fixture.
It became obvious towards the end of the 2020/21 season that the teenager’s fine form would be rewarded with a move to Barry Lewtas’ under-23s ahead of the new campaign.
And it was on Saturday, his 18th birthday, that he announced his arrival in the Premier League 2 as, gifted with a low centre of gravity and a catalogue of skills, Musialowksi handed the Arsenal defenders most certainly one of the toughest tests of the campaign so far.
However, it was post-match as he bounced up from the depths of the Anfield tunnel with an immeasurable grin, that ‘Matty’ would exhibit his infectious off-field personality.
Initially, Musialowski illustrated a shy lad, but as soon as football became the topic of conversation, his personality and mannerisms revealed a humble and grounded young man, who, rightly, backs his ability.
The forward spoke of how he was left astonished by the Anfield atmosphere on Saturday afternoon, as the Kop opened its doors to plenty of young fans and families to cheer on Lewtas’ youngsters while Jurgen Klopp’s star-studded side embarked on their duties down towards the capital.
“It was an incredible feeling when everyone is clapping you. The atmosphere is incredible, there are no words to explain it,” said Musialowski.
It was his goal that broke the deadlock and allowed his side to further profit from the opening of the Gunners’ floodgates, which he had unpicked after he weaved past plenty of Arsenal challenges before firing the ball through the legs of Arthur Okonkwo with 55 minutes on the clock.
Indeed, a strike in one of football’s greatest cathedrals that plenty of young aspiring footballers have dreamt of scoring at, not least on their eighteenth birthday.
“It’s a good present for me but I think the most important thing is the three points,” he said. “After a tough time, we won so it’s incredible and I’m happy I could help the team.”
Saturday’s victory ended a difficult run of form for the under-23s as they were able to claim their first league victory since defeating Everton at the end of August.
Though despite laying lower in the league table than all those at Kirkby would have imagined prior to the season, the statement victory at Anfield felt like the kick-start that Lewtas’ side and, more importantly, Musialowski needed.
“Maybe I needed two or three games to get used to the tempo of the league because it’s a little difficult compared to 18s, but now I feel really confident on the pitch,” he explained when asked about his start to the season.
“I think for me it’s not the biggest difference because I can dribble against huge players so it’s even easier for me if the defender is bigger and stronger so I can twist their legs.
“So, I could say it’s really quite easy for me to dribble,” joked the nonchalant goalscorer.
Musialowski was splashed with a taste of the lifestyle of a Liverpool player for the final moments of the contest as he received a standing ovation from the Kop as he was replaced in injury time, and it almost certainly won’t be the last time he is lauded by the Anfield faithful after a scintillating display.