Hany Mukhtar is Nashville SC’s first MLS designated player. Mukhtar is 5”8, 158lbs and he is 24 years old. He is from Berlin, Germany and has played for Salzburg (Austria), Benfica (Portugal), Hertha (Germany), and most recently, Brondbøy IF (Denmark). His most recent international cap came in 2016 with Germany’s U21 team.
Mukhtar is a midfielder who primarily plays central attacking mid. Mukhtar also has experience at both left wing and right wing. He is very strong with both feet and does not have a clear weak foot. Mukhtar reminds me of Christian Eriksen with his strong technical skill and shooting ability. Eriksen has been a strong free kick taker for many seasons similar to Mukhtar. Eriksen does not have the same speed though their passing, shooting, and vision are comparable.
Manager, Gary Smith, has used many formation throughout his career and there is no telling where Mukhtar will play. It is clear that Smith has a lot of confidence in Mukhtar after he was their first official signing. Last season, with Nashville SC’s USL team, Smith used a 4-4-2, 3-5-2, and 4-2-3-1. If Nashville were to stick with a 4-2-3-1, Mukhtar would likely play as a center attacking mid:
Mukhtar could play any of the three attack mid positions.
One slight concern is that Mukhtar is coming off a right foot injury. In an interview, he said he had fully recovered though he missed an extended period of time. He passed his physical with Nashville which likely means it is not lingering. I am not too concerned about this but it was worth knowing.
It is hard to know how the players will mesh together though I feel good about Nashville’s current roster. Nashville drafted CB Jack Maher 2nd overall in the Super Draft on January 3rd. Maher has a history of success in college and it is an exciting pick. If you'd like to read a team overview, click here. I am extremely excited to see Nashville SC in action and preseason starts in around a month.