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Musonda must make peace with his own arrogance and ambition, says Belgium U21 coach

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The Chelsea loanee continues to search for success

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Charly Musonda Jr’s ego is writing checks his body can’t cash, according to his former Belgium U21 coach, Johan Walem.

Walem tells the story of last summer (2017), when Musonda refused the opportunity to join and be a key player for the U21s even though he had never been called up to the senior squad and he had not played regularly for many months. Walem’s Belgium U21 have successfully qualified for their first U21 European Championship in 12 years, but Charly will not be there even if he remains eligible.

“Charly did not show up at the end of August last year for the qualifying match against Turkey. I went to see him at Chelsea. The problem is that Charly has so much ambition ... He wants to be the biggest, the prettiest, the best. Charly was thinking that he would be called up for the A-team. That did not work ... I told him: ‘You can be a key player with us, you can experience an EC ...’ He has made other choices. I did not want to select Charly after that - I could not do that to the group.”

Walem had spoken about this earlier this year, and blamed Musonda’s surroundings first and foremost. “Perhaps his problem is that he’s been told he’s too good far too often...”

Now, Walem has turned the focus on Charly himself.

“He is perhaps more of an ‘8’ than a ‘10’ — as a playmaker he wants to do too much, then he demands everything. Charly must first and foremost find peace and self-confidence in his head.”

-Johan Walem; source: HLN via Google Translate

Charly wants to be top gun, wants to do everything, wants to be the best ... and that’s all fine and well, but it’s also important to keep a level head. Believing that you’re the best is only a part of the equation, especially as it’s been over two years since Charly has seen any consistent match action.

Of course Walem also agrees that Charly going to Vitesse this season (as a last resort after the Celtic loan didn’t work out) is a “waste” of this talents. It’s not helping that the 22-year-old is injured again, too — a knee injury this time — and has yet to actually make his debut for Chelsea B. But he’s still young, and there is time to change the narrative. He’s got a contract at Chelsea through 2022.