Netherlands-born Nigerian striker Joshua Zirkzee says he hopes to one day take over from Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich.
Born to a Nigerian father and a Dutch mother, Zirkzee made headlines prior to the 2019/20 winter break when he came off the bench to score a Bundesliga debut goal with his first touch, and help Bayern to a last-gasp win against Freiburg.
The 18-year-old replicated the feat at home to Wolfsburg just days later to reach two top-flight goals in record time.
And now he hopes to be the first-choice striker at the Bundesliga champions.
“After I first trained with Bayern, I knew that’s who I wanted to join,” he was quoted on bundesliga.com.
“I told myself, let me do three sessions – then I’ll decide if I’m good enough.
“They told me I have the quality, but also that they wanted to work on my conditioning, among other things. They’ve been true to their word.
“I want to become the striker at Bayern – that’s always been my objective.”
On some of the things he has learnt from the Polish striker, who is the Bundesliga’s all-time leading non-German marksman, Zirkzee said: “His movement from crosses or how he moves between the lines.
“His timing, how he shields the ball, his sprints towards goal – I’m taking in everything Lewandowski does.”
With Lewandowski recovering from minor groin surgery, Zirkzee is set to deputise in the lone striker’s role when Bayern play Bundesliga 2 club Nuremberg in a mid-season friendly on Saturday.
And recalling how he almost joined Everton permanently as a 16-year-old trialist: “Everton was a serious option for me,” he said.
“Ronald Koeman was coach, Romelu Lukaku left for Manchester United that summer and I got the feeling from Everton that there was a good chance I could really become something there. They even offered me a contract whilst I was on trial.”
Unfortunately for Everton, he made the switch to Munich in summer 2017 from Feyenoord.
And after working his way up through the U17s and U19s to the reserves, he was promoted to the first team by interim coach Hansi Flick in November 2019.
Zirkzee is currently a youth international for the Netherlands.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.