Seventeen-year-old Dutch striker Joshua Zirkzee is making a big impression in the youth teams of Bayern Munich and could be closing in on his first-team debut.

  • By Michael Bell
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In the summer of 2018, Zirkzee’s contract with Feyenoord ended and the highly regarded youngster made an unpopular decision to depart Rotterdam in pursuit of a move abroad.

Several top English sides were hoping to charm the forward but it was German giants Bayern Munich that won the battle for Zirkzee’s signature. A year-and-a-half on, the 17-year-old has built a rapidly growing reputation and the calls for an official debut are growing.

Zirkzee has already scored for Bayern Munich’s first team, coming off the bench to make his debut and net in their pre-season friendly with Paris Saint-Germain. However, Zirkzee is still waiting for his official debut despite banging in goal after goal for the club’s youth sides.

Last season the powerful centre-forward scored 16 goals and contributed nine assists in 21 games for Bayern’s U17’s and for the U19’s during this campaign so far he has 17 goals and four assists in 21 games. That includes four goals in the prestigious UEFA Youth League with one of those coming against Ajax.

Last week, Zirkzee made his first start for the U23’s and true to form scored a hat-trick which was followed up by another goal this week against Augsburg’s U23 side.

Overall, Zirkzee has netted an impressive 32 goals in 43 matches for the club’s various age groups since joining a year-and-a-half ago. Then there is also the 16 assists, which prove that Zirkzee can link the play and has the vision to pick out his teammates.

The Netherlands U18 international is in stellar form but he is not getting carried away and is happy to play at any age group at the moment. He told TZ, “I do not care what team I play, I play for Bayern.”

Asked when he expects to make his first-team debut, Zirkzee responded, “As soon as possible.”

Currently, Robert Lewandowski is the undoubted starting striker for Bayern who are locked in a close battle for the Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund. They also have South Korean sensation Jeong Woo-Yeong as back-up and are expecting the arrival of Hamburg hot-shot Jann-Fiete Arp this summer.

For now, Bayern Munich U23 coach Holger Seitz is delighted to have Zirkzee at his disposal, “We are glad to have him. He is a type of player that is sought for a lot: a strong striker, who brings peace and does not let himself be fooled, can play football and has a high speed of action.”

Patience is the key for Zirkzee at the moment but it is becoming more and more clear that Bayern Munich and Netherlands may have a special player on their hands and he is definitely one to watch in the coming years as Oranje searches for a centre-forward to take them to the 2022 World Cup and beyond!




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