April 13, 2024

Joshua Zirkzee’s exceptional Serie A form has drawn comparisons to the great Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Everton and Burnley were unable to lure him to the Premier League.

During his early years at Bayern Munich, Manuel Neuer called the Dutchman a “deadly” finisher. The goal that sealed Bologna’s 2-0 victory over Torino on Monday night helps to illustrate why the legendary goalie thought so highly of his former teammate.

In stoppage time, Joshua Zirkzee bamboozled his way past a tired Torino defender before firing home, taking his tally to six for the campaign.

Everton and Burnley could have had Joshua Zirkzee

Having twice turned down a move to Everton earlier in his career, The Toffees’ loss is proving to be Bologna’s gain, Thiago Motta’s high-flying side now sixth in the Serie A table and dreaming of European qualification.

“It has been clear for some time that he is a strong player,” sighs Ivan Juric, the Torino coach who’s side found out first hand just how ‘deadly’ Zirkzee can be (Tuttomercatoweb).

“Those who are good (coaches), take these talents, cultivate them and manage to make them explode. In some moves, I see Ibra again. He is an atypical striker who also manages to score many goals.”

Zirkzee, balletic and beautiful, belies his rangy frame with a touch made out of pure velvet. Those comparisons with Zlatan Ibrahimovic are a testament not only to his form in front of the goal but the swagger with which he carries himself.

Italy’s new Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

Zirkzee may have a long way to go before he can justify the remarkable claims of one rather ambitious reporter – who indicated that he is ‘better than Erling Haaland’ in a number of departments – but the 22-year-old’s superb start to the campaign must feel like salt rubbed into Burnley’s wounds.

After all, the former Anderlecht forward acknowledged in June that he would be amenable to the notion of rejoining Vincent Kompany at Turf Moor and wondered what Burnley manager could do with him at this point.

Has Kompany made a call yet? No, even though I communicate with a lot of other Burnley employees,” Zirkzee said to Het Nieuwsblad.

“I would like to walk through a door that might open if Vinny calls.”

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