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Who is Valencia’s exciting English teenager Musah?

Yunus Musah is eligible to represent England, Ghana, Italy and the United StatesThe departure of several key stars has made for a tough summer for Valencia – but one talented English teenager is offering room for optimism at the Mestalla Stadium.Former Arsenal academy star Yunus Musah became the first English player to represent the Spanish…

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Who is Valencia’s exciting English teenager Musah?

Yunus Musah is eligible to represent England, Ghana, Italy and the United StatesThe departure of several key stars has made for a tough summer for Valencia – but one talented English teenager is offering room for optimism at the Mestalla Stadium.Former Arsenal academy star Yunus Musah became the first English player to represent the Spanish side when he started their opening 4-2 La Liga win over Levante on 13 September.And at 17 years 289 days, it also made England youth international Musah the club’s youngest foreign player, as well as putting him in the top 10 youngest overall.Musah made his second successive start in a 2-1 defeat by Celta Vigo on Saturday, meaning he has played 171 of Valencia’s 180 league minutes so far as he seeks to consolidate a place in the first team following the club’s turbulent pre-season.Valencia supporters protested against owner Peter Lim before the Levante game, after former Watford boss Javi Gracia became the club’s eighth different manager since 2014 and key players Ferran Torres, Rodrigo, Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin all departed.However, their side twice came from behind in the 4-2 derby victory, with Musah’s impressive debut further helping to lift the mood.”I was very happy. I couldn’t stop smiling and I called my parents afterwards,” Musah told the club’s website post-match.”I spoke with them to thank them and I want to thank everybody who has helped me to have this moment.”So, just how did he get here?Yunus Musah spent seven years at Arsenal, winning the U18 Premier League South in 2019Musah has captained England from under-15 to under-18 level, despite also being eligible to represent Ghana, Italy and the United States.Of Ghanaian descent, he was born in the American city New York while his mother was on holiday there in November 2002 and then lived in Italy until the age of nine.He began his youth career in Italy, with local side Giorgione, before joining Arsenal’s academy after moving to London in 2012.Musah spent seven years with the Gunners and played a key role in their under-18s’ Premier League South triumph in 2018-2019, scoring four goals and making three assists in 15 appearances that campaign, before his Valencia move.The versatile midfielder has featured centrally and on the wing for both club and country, and has already established a reputation for his slick passing, creativity and pace.The question now is: just how good could he be?”The merit for what players do, like Yunus, should go to the player. There is the makings of a player there, and despite his age he showed great maturity to endure the level of demand that was there,” Gracia saidexternal-link following Musah’s debut against Levante.”That should be valued and we should take care of him, so that in the future he contributes many more things to Valencia.”Having already demonstrated his exciting potential in Valencia’s opening games of 2020-21, Musah’s present challenge is to cement his place as a regular starter – and perhaps get his first goal.He came closest when he struck the woodwork against Levante, and his end product is something the player himself identifies as an area for immediate improvement.”I want to score more goals and be more consistent with my passes,” he said. “Sometimes in the game I can do so many good passes and one bad one. I want to correct that.”Musah has described himself as “a passer and also physical”, adding: “I can run past players because I’m a bit bigger than some of them. I’m really good at passing and I can create a lot of chances.”Valencia – and England – will be hoping he can continue to flourish during his time at the Mestalla, where he is contracted until 2022.Stacey Dooley Revisits: Where are they now?Mercury Prize: 12 essential albums from former winners and nominees
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NFL game postponed over Covid-19 cases

Tennessee Titans’ long snapper Beau Brinkley (left) and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (right) have been put on the reserve/Covid-19 listThe NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has been postponed because of Covid-19 cases.The game will be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday after the outbreak among Titans players and staff.On Tuesday,…

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NFL game postponed over Covid-19 cases

Tennessee Titans’ long snapper Beau Brinkley (left) and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (right) have been put on the reserve/Covid-19 listThe NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has been postponed because of Covid-19 cases.The game will be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday after the outbreak among Titans players and staff.On Tuesday, defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson were put on the reserve/Covid-19 list.The NFL has since shut down the team facility.According to the NFL network, a fourth player also returned a positive test on Wednesday.The Titans played the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis last Sunday.The Vikings’ facility was also closed on Tuesday and Wednesday and it is unclear whether their scheduled game with the Houston Texans will take place on Sunday.
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Pliskova survives scare at French Open

Karolina Pliskova reached the Italian Open final earlier in SeptemberCzech second seed Karolina Pliskova came from a set down to avoid an upset against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif in the French Open first round.World number four Pliskova, 28, had eight set points in the opener, before losing to Sherif – ranked 172nd in the world…

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Pliskova survives scare at French Open

Karolina Pliskova reached the Italian Open final earlier in SeptemberCzech second seed Karolina Pliskova came from a set down to avoid an upset against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif in the French Open first round.World number four Pliskova, 28, had eight set points in the opener, before losing to Sherif – ranked 172nd in the world – in a tie-break.The 2017 semi-finalist wrapped up a quick second set against the 24-year-old after winning four games in a row.Pliskova came through a tense decider to claim a 6-7 (9-11) 6-2 6-4 victory.”It was super tough,” she said. “Especially after losing the first set after having set points.”She played a great game, especially in these conditions.”Sherif kept up an impressive level throughout and the pair exchanged breaks at the start of the second set.But Pliskova then won four games in a row, eventually holding serve to level things.The Czech was made to work much harder for the final set as she failed to convert five break points before winning the sixth to go 4-3 up.She held serve and wrapped up the match after two hours and 15 minutes with an ace down the middle.Pliskova, who has never won a Grand Slam, will face Latvian world number 43 Jelena Ostapenko in the second round.Live scores, results and order of playAlerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone
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Williams overcomes slow start to win

Serena Williams is a three-time champion at Roland Garros, having won the 2002, 2013 and 2015 titlesSerena Williams began her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a hard-fought win over fellow American Kristie Ahn in the French Open first round.Sixth seed Williams, who turned 39 on Saturday, overcame a rusty start to win…

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Williams overcomes slow start to win

Serena Williams is a three-time champion at Roland Garros, having won the 2002, 2013 and 2015 titlesSerena Williams began her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a hard-fought win over fellow American Kristie Ahn in the French Open first round.Sixth seed Williams, who turned 39 on Saturday, overcame a rusty start to win 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 in Paris.Once she came through a 74-minute opener, Williams began to play with more belief and clarity as she swept Ahn aside in a one-sided second set.Williams will play Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round.Pironkova, 33, was handed a wildcard by Roland Garros after a memorable run to the US Open quarter-finals – where she lost to Williams – in her first tournament since 2017 after giving birth.More to follow.Live scores, results and order of playAlerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone
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