17

Charly Musonda Jr

BIOGRAPHY

Musonda Musonda is commonly known as Charly Junior, with Charly being his father’s name. The son of a former Anderlecht midfielder and Zambian international, Musonda joined the club from Anderlecht in the summer of 2012 along with his older brothers Tika and Lamisha.

Studious and mature off the field, he made his youth team debut while still a schoolboy on the biggest of Under-18 stages; the Youth Cup final, coming off the bench in both legs against Norwich City in 2012/13 as the young Blues went down to a 4-2 aggregate defeat.

In his debut season as a scholar, Charly was a regular for Adi Viveash’s youth team and made his debut for both the Under-19s and Under-21s during the campaign. It was the crucial games at the end of the season in which he shone brightest, striking a brilliant equaliser at Old Trafford in the final of the Under-21 Premier League playoffs that propelled the team onto victory, before firing in a crucial late second goal against Fulham in the first leg of the Youth Cup final that kept the tie alive. The Blues went on to lift the trophy after the return at Stamford Bridge, with Musonda winning an early penalty that Charlie Colkett converted.

His bright form continued in 2014/15 as he stepped up to feature predominantly with the Under-21s, while his impact was also significant as the youth team retained the Youth Cup and the Under-19s were crowned champions of Europe for their age group. His exciting form earned him a debut Belgium Under-21 call-up in late 2014, meaning he has now represented his country at every age group from Under-16 upwards, as well as a place on the first team’s post-season tour.

In March 2015, Charly signed a contract extension committing him to the club until the end of the 2018/19 season.

He joined Real Betis on loan in January 2016 and impressed on his senior football debut against Gary Neville’s Valencia, having a hand in the only goal and also the sending off of the visitors’ left-back. Musonda was named man of the match. In his second game he scored a header in a 2-2 draw against Deportivo La Coruna.

He went on to make 16 appearances, 13 of them starts, by the end of the season. Betis finished 10th in Spain's top division.

On 22 June 2016 it was announced the loan was extended to cover the 2016/17, meaning Musonda was to be managed by our former player Gustavo Poyet who was appointed by Betis in May 2016 but Poyet was dismissed in November. Having made eight appearances in the first half of the 2016/17 campaign, Musonda returned to Chelsea.

He was part of Antonio Conte's squad in the first half of 2017/18 season and came on as a late substitute in the Community Shield game against Arsenal and the opening league match of the season at home to Burnley.

He scored on his full debut against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup in September 2017 and made seven appearances overall, two of them starts before moving on loan to Celtic in Scotland in January 2018. In December 2017 he signed a new contract until 2022.

In his last game before that loan move, he provided an excellent assist for Victor Moses' goal in a 4-0 Premier League win at Brighton. That followed an eye-catching display in the Checkatrade Trophy, where Musonda netted a last-minute free-kick to beat Portsmouth, earning him a nomination for the competition’s Player of the Round.

His loan to the Glasgow club is until the end of the 2018/19 season.