More than a few familiar faces have pitched up at Goodison Park in recent times. James Rodriguez, Allan, Lucas Digne, Fabian Delph, Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes had all proved themselves at the elite level of the game at one point or another before they were lured to Everton in the Farhad Moshiri era.
Joshua Zirkzee, however, is not a well-known name. The 19-year-old is at one of Europe’s biggest clubs in Bayern Munich, but is not a player familiar to Premier League fans. Nonetheless, there is plenty for Everton fans to be excited about, with the young Dutchman reportedly close to joining the Toffees on loan.
To those who follow the Bundesliga, though, Zirkzee will have registered on the radar midway through last season when he marked his German league debut with a stoppage time winner against Freiburg. The Dutch prospect followed this up by scoring another in a Bayern Munich win over Wolfsburg.
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At that point, it appeared Zirkzee would thrive in his role as a depth option behind Robert Lewandowski. This season has seen the youngster struggle to make an impression, to the extent Bayern Munich now seem willing to let the player leave the club on loan with a possible purchase option in any agreement.
At youth level, Zirkzee was a phenomenon, netting 33 times in 27 appearances for Feyenoord. This astonishing form raised interest from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, with Everton also keen on Zirkzee at this point. In fact, Ronald Koeman convinced the young striker to play for the Toffees’ Under 19s team in a 2017 CEE Cup game.
This suggested Everton had won the race to sign Zirkzee as a 16-year-old, but he instead chose to join Bayern Munich. While that decision looked to be paying dividends, the time might now be right for Zirkzee to take the next step in his career. There’s a good chance he would be afforded more game time at Goodison Park than is currently the case at the Allianz Arena.
Um ihn gab es zuletzt immer wieder Wechselgerüchte: Bayerns Joshua Zirkzee
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“He's the kind of player who is highly sought-after - a powerful striker who keeps his cool and doesn't let himself be caught out,” Bayern Munich academy director Holger Seitz explained when asked to describe what sort of player Zirkzee is. “He has a great understanding of football and reacts quickly to different situations.”
Zirkzee stands at 6ft 4” and is physically imposing as a frontman. The Dutchman is a predator in and around the penalty box. He is strong in the air and boasts rapid acceleration that means he can also play on the shoulder of the last defender. Renowned for his intelligent movement, Zirkzee may well have picked up a few things from Lewandowski on the training ground.
There is some solid logic behind Everton’s move for Zirkzee. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has become the player around which Carlo Ancelotti’s attack revolves this season, but the Toffees lack someone to play in the same way when the England international is unavailable or needs a rest.
This is where Zirkzee would be a useful option for Everton. The 19-year-old could theoretically slot into Ancelotti’s existing system in place of Calvert-Lewin without any other shuffling of the pack required. Zirkzee’s signing wouldn’t just be the signing of a young, exciting player for the sake of it. He could help Everton in the here and now.
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