Man Utd and AC Milan are interested in signing oshua Zirkzee, a forward from Bologna, What potential and contribution will he bring to elevate any of the club that signs him? …

Joshua Zirkzee, a forward from the Netherlands, is a transfer target for Manchester United and AC Milan after making an impression at Bologna. But why is he so sought after? To learn more, Adam Bate chats with the player’s former Anderlecht coach.

There’s nothing like Joshua Zirkzee. At 6’4″, he has the build of a target man, yet he can run the channels and has playmaker feet. Many teams, like Manchester United, are debating whether or not they need this particular skill set.

Zirkzee, 23, had an incredible season with Bologna, helping the Italian team earn a spot in Europe’s top league for the first time in sixty years. His late call-up to Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands squad for Euro 2024 is his reward.

The figures are striking. This past season, Zirkzee was among the top 10 players in Serie A for open play goals, open play chances, and successful dribbles. It’s only a peek of the total threat he poses to defenses against opposition.

However, this is about more than just those figures; it’s also about potential and a player whose kind is hard to find elsewhere in the market. Although he has recently made significant progress, people have long recognized that he is capable of things that others cannot.

Zirkzee joined Bayern Munich at the age of 16, and at 17, he scored in a friendly match against Paris Saint-Germain. Despite his four goals in the Bundesliga, he had difficulty breaking through as a teenager. It was a psychological as well as physical advancement for him.

“He went at a very young age and that can sometimes be a problem for players,” Willem Weijs tells Sky Sports. “They believe that it is only about skills and scoring goals and playing nice football but professional football demands other things of players.”

Weijs is speaking in general terms but knows his game better than most having been part of the coaching staff at Anderlecht, the club that Zirkzee joined on loan from Bayern for the 2021/22 season. It was the season in which the boy wonder became a man.

“What professional football asks from you mentally and physically, that is another thing compared to youth football,” Weijs clarifies. He needed to transition, but it was evident that he was extremely talented. He greatly benefited from that season at Anderlecht.”

Zirkzee contributed 13 assists and 18 goals while playing for Vincent Kompany. Weijs describes a volcano that is about to erupt. Teams in Belgium attempt to make it a very physical game, so it was difficult at first. But eventually, he grew accustomed to it. He blew up.”

Weijs collaborated with Kompany’s Anderlecht especially closely because they adopted a mentorship program. As a fellow Dutchman overseas, Zirkzee was a perfect fit for the limited group of players that each member of the technical staff was allocated. Even so, it required time.

He wasn’t very open at first, so I had to work hard to develop that relationship and win his confidence. He must experience the love. He desires respect. However, he opens up to you when you put effort into that relationship and he feels like he can trust you.”

Weijs remembers talking to people about different sports. “He is a big basketball fan.” and more in-depth conversations regarding his career and game. “We would watch videos together, talk about his self-assurance, and about

A comparison to Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been made due to his height, talent, and flare. His hold-up play is highlighted by his ranking third in Serie A for lay-off passes the previous season. He amazed teammates at Anderlecht with his finishing during training. Weijs says, “By the end, he was outstanding.”

It was evident during the second part of that Belgian season that Zirkzee had taken everything he could from the experience. “He found the Anderlecht training sessions to be too simple.” He was obviously prepared for the following phase.”

Bologna was the next destination. He had experienced a considerably less fruitful loan term with Parma, appearing only four times as a substitute, so this was his comeback to Serie A. Not everyone thought that was the best course of action. Weijs acknowledges, “I had some doubts.”

He didn’t have to worry. Bologna was the appropriate team. This season, Zirkzee has developed into a vital member of one of the most thrilling teams in European football.”I believe he had a Zirkzee has particularly become more proficient off the ball and is now a formidable player off the ball. This past season, he led Serie A in high turnovers and tied for second place in possession won in the final third while playing for a pressing squad.

“That is a small illustration of the change from young player to professional player that I was discussing. That is intensity, growth mindset, transition game, and hard work. With hindsight, Bologna was undoubtedly the right move for him.”

What’s going to happen next? Milan is regarded as the front-runner, but United can afford to acquire him, and both teams would undoubtedly be interested in having the next Ibrahimovic. There will always be a need for players who can score goals, hold the ball up, and press high.

Weijs states, “There’s a lot of interest now.” This is a volcanic eruption.

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