Date of birth: 15 October 1996
Place of birth: Brussels, Belgium
Position: Attacking midfielder
Previous clubs: RSC Anderlecht
International levels played at: Belgium Under-17s, Under-18s, Under-19s, Under-21s
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 Chelsea from Anderlecht in the summer of 2012 along with his older brothers Tika and Lamisha.
He spent his debut year in English football predominantly with Joe Edwards’ Under-16s, frequently dazzling in a number of midfield positions and catching the eye with his mesmerising footwork. He was rewarded with a youth team debut on the biggest of Under-18 stages; the FA Youth Cup final, coming off the bench against Norwich City at Carrow Road.
He did the same a fortnight later, introduced by manager Adi Viveash for the final 20 minutes of the final second leg at Stamford Bridge as the young Blues went down to a 4-2 aggregate defeat. In between those two cup legs, Musonda made his first start for the Under-18s against Reading at the beginning of May 2013.
A studious and mature teenager, he signed his scholarship in July 2013 and started the 2013/14 campaign in great fashion, scoring the youth team’s opening goal of the season in a 3-0 home win over Sunderland. A niggling injury kept him out of action for a couple of months from mid-September, though he did feature in the opening FA Youth Cup third round tie against Dartford and netted in a 6-0 home win over Reading before Christmas.
His impressive work was rewarded when he signed his first professional contract upon turning 17 in October 2013 and he tasted his first European experience in the inaugural UEFA Youth League in victories over FC Basel both home and away.
Musonda’s Under-21 debut came off the bench at Bolton in December 2013 and he went on to make a further nine appearances for that side, and it was in the crucial games at the end of the campaign in which he shone brightest.
He struck a brilliant equaliser at Old Trafford in the final of the Under-21 league play-offs that propelled the team onto victory, before firing in a crucial late second goal at Craven Cottage in the first leg of the 2014 FA Youth Cup final that kept the tie alive. In the return at Stamford Bridge, he was again instrumental in contributing to the comeback victory, winning an early penalty that Charlie Colkett converted as the Blues won 7-6 on aggregate.
He continued that bright form at the start of the 2014/15 campaign, scoring a stoppage-time winner in the Under-21s’ league opener at home to Manchester City and going on to net a dozen goals before the Christmas break. 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.
In March 2015, Musonda signed a contract extension, committing himself to the club until 2019.