There’s no stopping Hany Mukhtar right now.
The former Germany youth international is having arguably the best season of his career so far, with a hat-trick in Nashville SC’s 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids during the week taking his tally to 19 goals in 28 MLS appearances – sitting nicely with his seven primary assists.
Mukhtar is now second only to Austin FC’s Sebastian Driussi in the MLS Golden Boot race, trailing the Argentine by a single goal, while he leads the league in metrics such as xG and shots on target per 90 minutes.
Without Mukhtar, Nashville simply wouldn’t be fifth in the Western Conference and while Mukhtar missed out on the MVP Award last season – unfairly in the eyes of many – teammate Dax McCarty believes he should be recognized this time around.
“You guys know what time it is. It’s award season,” McCarty told reporters following Wednesday’s win over Colorado. “I think it’s incumbent on myself to come up here as the team captain and talk about how important Hany Mukhtar has been to our club this year, and not just this year, but for the past three years.”
Nashville SC’s 2020 entrance into Major League Soccer was overshadowed not just by arriving alongside David Beckham’s Inter Miami, but also by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Gary Smith’s side have far outstripped Miami in two-and-a-half seasons so far, making the Playoffs twice and finishing as high as third in the East last year.
None of that would be possible without Mukhtar, whose total haul for Nashville stands at 46 goals and 21 primary assists in 82 appearances across all competitions.
“If you break down what the most valuable player award means, I think it’s a guy who’s absolutely irreplaceable on his team,” McCarty added. “I don’t think anyone’s going to sit up here and argue that this guy’s not irreplaceable for us.”
As for Mukhtar himself, he’s hardly been shy about wanting to win top individual honors alongside helping Nashville lift trophies and is certainly confident in his ability to do so.
“I want to be very successful with the team, but I’m not going to lie: I want to win also MVP. That’s my personal goal,” he admitted. “I just want to be successful here, and I want to give my best, my performance, and that’s what I do every training, every game. I give my best. I think that if I do that, I can achieve and I will achieve to be the MVP of the league.”
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