At his weekly press conference, Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick addressed why the club has not used Joshua Zirkzee much with the senior team of late. The manager spoke frankly about the 19-year-old Netherlands youth international and why he has not been called upon.
“Joshua Zirkzee had problems with his ankle while on vacation,” said Flick at his weekly pregame press conference (as captured by Tz). “Because of this, I was not satisfied with his physical condition. This is getting better now.”
Flick, however, was not finished and did not mince words in challenging the youngster to improve elements of his approach to the game.
“Talent alone is not enough, it is important that he works on himself,” Flick said. “Then he can play Bundesliga. It’s about mentality and attitude and the absolute will to show what you want.”
Zirkzee’s recent performances for the senior team have been lackluster. Lacking physicality and often being caught too stationary, the young striker has struggled. However, Zirkzee has started to improve on some of those aspects of his game with Bayern Munich II in 3.Liga in recent weeks.
Zirkzee is starting to become more lively on the pitch, but still is not exactly turning in fully assertive performances. There are many reasons for that with Bayern Munich II, including the fact that the players are often moving around to different positions and often have not had much time to sync up as teammates. This should improve for Zirkzee and his Bayern Munich II colleagues in the coming weeks as the roster settles in.
Individually, though, Flick is clearly looking to see Zirkzee’s outlook change. However the coach measures or judges a player’s mentality or attitude, the treble-winning manager wants to see Zirkzee make some positive changes.
While it is somewhat concerning for Flick to call out Zirkzee’s approach, it might just be the wake-up call that the youngster needs. With his name floated in numerous rumors for a loan, Zirkzee could have been disappointed not to make a move this summer.
There have been reports of Zirkzee looking “hapless and unmotivated” during training sessions in the past, but as he grows older and observes how consummate professionals like Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, David Alaba, Jerome Baoteng, Joshua Kimmich, and Thomas Muller prepare themselves, hopefully Zirkzee — and the rest of Bayern Munich’s young players — can glean the best of what those players do and incorporate that into their own respective games.
Whatever the case, the young Dutchman has now received his call to change. How he reacts will likely be evident during his next appearances on the pitch. Hopefully Zirkzee brings the energy and determination that Flick wants to see from the prospect.