Our newest scouting report focuses on a young Australian midfielder, with an interesting background, who's hoping to become the next footballer from Down Under to establish himself in one of Europe's top divisions.
Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund)
Date of Birth: April 20, 1993
Position: Central Midfielder
2010-2011 Central Coast Mariners: 21 Apps, 1 Goal
2011- Borussia Dortmund: 0 Apps
2011- Central Coast Mariners (Loan): 0 Apps
Standing out on the pitch, with his distinctive, flaming red afro, Mustapha Amini first came to attention of those outside Australia with a series of impressive performances in 2010, both for his club and the U-19 and U-20 national sides, doing enough to garner the interest of a whole host of European clubs, including the likes of the Everton, Newcastle and Celtic.
Born to an Afghan father and mother of Nicaraguan descent, Amini grew up in Sydney, playing for his local side, Blacktown City, before signing a scholarship with the famed Australian Institute of Sport, in 2009, where he impressed coaches early on, progressing rapidly through the youth ranks of the Australian national team set up. After spending a year at AIS, the then 16-year-old Amini made headlines in early 2010, by becoming the youngest ever player to sign with an A-League club, joining Central Coast Mariners on a two-year contract, where he was expected to develop slowly into a bench player over the course of his first season. That proved to be far from the case however, as Amini immediately established himself as a valuable member of the first team once the 10/11 season kicked off, appearing in 21 games, as the Mariners made it all the way to the Grand Final, only to suffer a heatbraking penalty shootout defeat to Brisbane Roar, having been 3-0 up with just two minutes of extra time remaining. Amini's impressive displays, especially for a player of just seventeen, justifiably attracted attention abroad, and the young midfielder spent March of this year on trial with both Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle, being signalled out for particular praise by manager Jurgen Klopp during his time in Germany. Amini clearly impressed the Dortmund staff and, after lengthy negotians with lastest several months, shortly into a second trial with the club in July it was announced he had joined the Bundesliga champions on a four-year contract, another step up in what has been a rapid rise through the footballing ranks.
Amini subsequently shone at the U-20 World Cup this summer, where, despite his Australian side bowing out in the group stages, he earned rave reveiws from observers, signalling that Dortmund had indeed made a wise investment for the future. Amini will be sent back to the Mariners on loan for this season, in a move that Dortmund hope will help the youngster's development but, if the Australian continues to develop at this current rate, it won't be long before we see him back in Europe, starring in the Bundesliga and possibly even the Champions League.
Playing with a confidence and maturity which belies his young age, Amini is a tough, phyiscal two-way midfielder, who possess a great all-round game and who could could easily fit in a multitude of systems. Comfortable on the ball, with a great engine, there are no obvious weaknessees to his game and Amini looks like the type of player built to withstand the tough demands of European football ands its heavily-laden fixture schedule.
Another intersting observation is how closely Amini's career path mirrors that of arguably the most talented Australian player to establish himself in Europe, Harry Kewell. Both grew up in the Guildford area of Sydney and Amini even attended the same high school as Kewell, also growing up as an admirer of Liverpool, just like the former Premier League star. Dortmund clearly hope that Amini can recreate the form that Kewell showed during his early days at Leeds United, before unjury struck, and, going on his progress thus far, that does not seem like too tall a task for the youngster to achieve. At only 18-years-old however, there is still a long way to, yet all the signs point towards Amini enjoying a long and prosperous career in European football in the future.