Updated: Dec 11, 2019
NASHVILLE, TN - Nashville SC announced Tuesday that they have signed Hany Mukhtar as the first Designated Player in club history. The 24-year-old German plays as an attacking midfielder for Brøndby IF in the Danish Superliga, where he contributed 26 goals and 34 assists in 120 total appearances and was named Superliga Player Of The Year for the 2017/18 season. Mukhtar will spend the remainder of 2019 with Brøndby and will join Nashville SC in January ahead of their debut campaign in Major League Soccer.
Mukhtar joins Nashville SC for a reported fee of $3.4 million from Brøndby. He joined the Danish club in 2016 for $1.71 million from Portuguese powerhouse Benfica, where he struggled to break into the team, only making one appearance for the senior side.
A product of Hertha Berlin's youth academy, Mukhtar was one of the most highly rated prospects in German football, named to the 2014 UEFA European U19 Championship Team of the Tournament. He made 18 appearances for Hertha BSC before being sold to Benfica for $1.14 million. At Benfica, he struggled to break into the team, only making one appearance for the senior side, and was sold to Brøndby in 2016 for $1.71 million. Nashville SC sent $100,000 in General Allocation Money to Seattle Sounders in order to acquire Mukhtar's rights.
"Our view collectively is that we want players that will come here and contribute and want to be a big part of what we're creating here," said CEA Ian Ayre in an interview with ExtraTime in February. "I don't really see us in that kind of aging, twilight zone of players from Europe. I think we'll be looking for a kind of younger, dynamic strategy around our DPs."
Primarily an attacking midfielder, Mukhtar can also play on either wing. At 5'8", he has a low center of gravity, and he's able to accelerate quickly in tight spaces. He's a truly two-footed played, and is able to shoot or pass from either side. He's a pacey player and has incredible close control of the ball, able to change direction quickly and keep possession while being closely marked.
“Our plan for putting our roster together is about finding the 11 players who perform the best together,” said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs. “Adding a creative playmaker like Hany [Mukhtar] is a huge coup. His ability to create and finish scoring chances offers our club a versatile attacking weapon who will fit naturally within the group we are putting together.”
"We have had the pleasure of Hany's abilities for three seasons, and it is expected that a player of that caliber will not play the rest of his days in the 3F Super League," said Brøndby IF football director Carsten V. Jensen. "Nashville SC has been following Hany for a long time, and Hany has had a strong desire to try out MLS, so it makes good sense to all parties that they now have paper on each other from January 1, 2020.
This skillset is in line with what Jacobs told us on our podcast earlier this month. "As far as our DNA, we’re going to be a team that’s going to create a lot of scoring chances, we’re going to be a team that puts pressure on opposing teams," he said. Mukhtar absolutely fits this bill.
Muktar will be the first Designated Player in Nashville SC history, joining Daniel Ríos, Cameron Lancaster, Derrick Jones, David Accam and Aníbal Godoy on their roster for the 2020 MLS season. Mukhtar will spend the remainder of 2019 on loan with Brøndby and will join Nashville ahead of their debut season in MLS.
Speedway Soccer will have an exclusive interview with Hany Mukhtar tomorrow. Our conversation will be live streamed on Twitter at 10:30AM and available on our podcast at 11:00AM.
HANY ABUBAKR MUKHTAR
Birthdate: Mar. 21, 1995
Hometown: Berlin, Germany
Nationality: Germany and Sudan
Last club: Brøndby IF
How Acquired: Signed by Nashville SC from Brøndby IF as first Designated Player on Aug. 27, 2019 after acquiring the player’s rights from the Seattle Sounders in exchange for $100,000 in General Allocation Money.