MIDFIELDER ACQUIRED FROM BRØNDBY IF ON TRANSFER
NASHVILLE – Nashville SC has signed German international Hany Mukhtar as its first Designated Player, the club announced Tuesday morning. The midfielder will continue to play with his current club, Brøndby IF of the Danish Superliga, until January 2020 when he will join Nashville SC.
The move represents a significant investment from Nashville SC majority owner John Ingram and the ownership group into the 2020 squad in its inaugural MLS season.
“As our first Designated Player, Hany is a big piece of our vision,” said Ingram. “In general, Ian and myself and the whole team on the technical and the executive side of Nashville SC have been very intentional in trying to build a roster that will hit the ground and be competitive. We're not coming to just participate, we're coming to compete.”
Mukhtar’s acquisition gives Nashville SC six players on its 2020 MLS roster including midfielder Aníbal Godoy and winger David Accam who are still playing with their respective MLS clubs until the 2020 season. Also signed are current Nashville SC forwards Daniel Ríos and Cameron Lancaster as well as midfielder Derrick Jones.
On Sunday night, Ingram brought the 24-year-old German midfielder to Nashville on his private plane, showing some Nashville hospitality to the club’s first DP. He was there to greet Mukhtar when the plane touched down to shake his hand and offer a friendly welcome.
“One of our core values is about being inclusive and that means the players too,” said Ingram. “I don't want to be one of those owners that is a pain to the players. I want to know them, and I'd like them to know that they're welcome here.”
In his three seasons with Brøndby, Mukhtar scored 27 goals and added 34 assists between league and cup competitions. He was a critical piece for the club that advanced to the Europa League in each of the three seasons that Mukhtar featured.
Mukhtar grew up playing in the youth academy of Germany’s Hertha Berlin. He made the jump with the club when it was promoted to the German Bundesliga in 2013. As an 18-year-old during the 2013-14 season, he made his senior team debut against German giants Bayern Munich in Bundesliga competition. In all, Mukhtar made 11 appearances across all competitions with the Hertha Berlin in the 2013-14 campaign.
Following the 2014 season, Mukhtar signed with Portuguese giants SL Benfica, but spent two seasons on loan with Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga. With both clubs, Mukhtar captured silverware, winning Liga NOS in 2015 with Benfica and the Austrian Bundesliga and the Austrian Cup with RB Salzburg in 2016.
On top of his impressive club career, Mukhtar has been a regular in the German National Team youth system, earning 48 caps in youth competition. His biggest moment with Germany came in the 2014 U-19 European Championship Final when he scored the match-winning goal in a 1-0 win over Portugal.
In 2015, Mukhtar played in five matches for Germany at the U-20 World Cup, scoring four goals and adding an assist. Most recently, Mukhtar made three appearances with the German U-21s in three international friendlies.
Including his European U-19 trophy with Germany, Mukhtar has been a part of teams that won seven competitions, including at least one in each stop in his career. With Hertha Berlin’s U-17 team, Mukhtar claimed the U-17 Bundesliga championship. He also won the Bundesliga 2 with Hertha Berlin in 2013, earning the club promotion to the Bundesliga. With SL Benfica, he made one appearance in the club’s Portuguese title-winning season in 2014-15. On loan with Red Bull Salzburg, he won the Austrian Bundesliga title as well as the Austrian Cup in 2016. He also helped Brøndby claim the Danish Cup in 2018.