Champions League winner Joshua Zirkzee has been widely mocked for missing an absolute sitter for Bayern Munich, failing to score in a pre-season friendly against Ajax at the weekend that could determine his future.
The 20-year-old Dutchman joined the Bavarians’ youth setup from Feyenoord in 2017.
Despite progressing to the seniors two years later and being part of the squad to have won the Champions League in 2020, he has only made 12 appearances for Bayern and was loaned out to Parma in the last transfer window.
In this preseason, then, Zirkzee is singing for his supper – not only to stay on at the Allianz Stadium, but also, perhaps, to attract a potential buyer that won’t be a massive step down in his career.
On Saturday, against visitors from his homeland, he did little to entice current or future employers with a horror miss.
Approaching half-time, with Bayern level at 1-1 against Ajax, Zirkzee produced some good work to force an error from Jurrien Timber after a bad backpass.
With one touch, he left goalkeeper Remko Pasveer in his wake as he approached an open net.
But instead of chasing after the loose ball to smash it home, Zirkzee jogged at a snail’s pace and seemed happy to watch it roll in.
Perr Schurrs wasn’t ready to give up, however, and beat Zirkzee to the ball to stop a potential goal and clear to safety.
As footage of the incident went viral, fans the world over waded in on the Netherlands youth international.
“Do not fall asleep in front of the goal,” he was advised, alongside a facepalm emoji.
“Sunday League. I mean come on, man,” remarked another.
“Same energy” one viewer quipped, accompanied by a meme of football badboy Mario Balotelli in his heyday.
The Euro 2012 finalist with Italy was rightly hooked by then-coach and countryman Roberto Mancini at Manchester City after attempting a ridiculous flick when he was through on goal that went horribly wide during a pre-season match.
“Hopefully he’ll be a little more serious in a Bundesliga game,” Zikzee’s manager Julian Nagelsmann told Abendzeitung after the match. “But I don’t have to talk to him – he’ll know that himself.
“We were a bit too deep in the first half, weren’t really so forceful in the first line of attack. Still, we had the chance to take the lead just before half-time,” the new Bayern shot-caller also added after the 2-2 draw.
“We had to score that. We then changed things a bit during the break and were really good in the first quarter of an hour after half-time. We applied a lot of pressure and had some good spells of possession. Then we substituted ten players.
“The boys also did very well. They were brave and played well with the ball. Given the squad available to us, it was absolutely fine on the whole.
“We’re very pleased there were spectators today and they supported us. That was a nice experience.”
Next up for the Bundesliga kings are meetings with Monchengladbach on Wednesday and Napoli next Saturday.
With Bayern’s season starting on August 6 in the DFB-Pokal, Zirkzee’s auditions are running out.
Also on rt.com
Chelsea target Erling Haaland makes young fan’s dream come true by signing autograph on pitch during match (VIDEO)