A player who was previously sought after by Everton has been named in Goal’s NxGn 2020 list of the top 50 footballers born on or after 1 January 2001.
In 2017, young Feyenoord academy striker Joshua Zirkzee appeared to be on his way to Everton, as reported by Football Oranje.
Former Everton director of football Steve Walsh was rumoured to have met the 6ft 4in wonderkid in Merseyside in an attempt to bring him to Goodison Park.
On this occasion, however, the man credited with discovering N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy at Leicester City couldn’t get the deal over the line as Bayern Munich swooped in.
Zirkzee has since risen through the ranks at the Allianz Arena and made it to the first team, making eight senior appearances and registering three goals and one assist.
In addition, the 18-year-old also penned a new contract last September, committing him to Bayern until the summer of 2023.
Now, Zirkzee has been deemed one of the top youngsters in world football, being ranked at number 22 in the NxGn 2020 list.
“Joshua Zirkzee could not have announced himself to Bayern Munich fans as a potential superstar in quicker or more sensational fashion, with the forward netting decisive goals in a combined total of eight minutes across his first two Bundesliga appearances,” wrote Goal.
“Described by Sebastien Hoeness as “a special kind of striker that can’t be found in the modern game”, the Under-19 Netherlands international is a tall, graceful, two-footed attacker blessed with the kind of pace and agility that makes him a nightmare for defenders in one-on-ones.”
Zirkzee is undoubtedly a hugely talented player and Walsh did well to spot him and try to bring him to Everton.
However, when faced with competition from the likes of Bayern Munich, it’s going to be a tough battle for any club to pick them over the Bavarian giants.
It just goes to show how important it is to have great scouting and recruitment departments, as the potential next superstar may never be that far away, under the radar.