Bayern Munich’s Dutch teenager Joshua Zirkzee has received a ringing endorsement from iconic countryman Ruud Gullit, who believes the 18-year-old has “a nose for goals” and can only get better under the mentorship of Robert Lewandowski.
It took the youngster just one touch and less than two minutes to sniff out a match-winner in his first Bundesliga appearance for Bayern, and he backed up his Matchday 16 heroics against Freiburg with another late winner against Wolfsburg a week later.
Two shots, two goals, two games. It was quite the introduction, but Zirkzee hasn’t featured for the seniors since, despite being named by coach Hansi Flick in each of the last eight matchday squads.
Watch: Joshua Zirkzee scores first Bundesliga goal
But Netherlands legend Gullit - a man who knows a thing or two about scoring goals himself and who has watched Zirkzee “score many goals” in the Dutch youth sides alongside his son, Maxim - believes there is no better player for the young forward to shadow than Lewandowski.
“Lewandowski is currently the best striker in the world,” Gullit told tz. “Joshua can learn a lot from Lewandowski. He sees how it's supposed to be done every day in training.
Zirkzee has previously spoken of his desire to eventually be “the striker at Bayern”, as well as just how much he is picking up from working alongside the Poland captain day-in, day-out.
"His movement from crosses or how he moves between the lines," said Zirkzee of Lewandowski. "His timing, how he shields the ball, his sprints towards goal - I'm taking in everything Lewandowski does."
And although Gullit is well aware that Lewandowski is far from done scoring goals in the red of Bayern, he does believe that - in Zirkzee - Bayern have an heir apparent in their ranks.
“It will be difficult to replace him one day, but with Joshua, Bayern has someone for the future,” added the 57-year-old who scored 17 goals across 66 caps for Holland. “Hopefully he will get even more chances to prove himself.”