Bayern Munich striker Joshua Zirkzee has been pretty opportunistic for the senior team this season. The 18-year-old has racked up three goals and one assist in six games across all competitions, even playing as a stand-in for Robert Lewandowski in a few games.
However, the Dutch youngster came under fire in an April issue of Bild, where he was criticized for looking “hapless and unmotivated” during Bayern Munich’s small-group training sessions.
Given the opportunity by De Telegraaf to clear his name, Zirkzee seized the moment once again. As captured by the website Football Oranje, Zirkzee took a swing at his critics and brushed off the notion that his “hapless and unmotivated” play was a consistent issue.
“I thought it was a bit too much, unnecessary,” said Zirkzee. “Everyone has a training in which they score less goals. Do I have to keep walking around with a happy face? On the one hand it motivates me even more. On the other hand I think: let it go. As long as trainers and fellow players believe in me. That is the most important thing, I will continue to work for that.”
Now that Zirkzee has officially refuted the Bild report, he can re-focus his efforts to preparing for Bayern Munich’s upcoming match against Union Berlin on Sunday.
When the story initially broke, we focused on the other — more important — aspects of the report regarding the sensational showing by Fiete Arp. Arp, who is considered Zirkzee’s primary competitor for the apprentice role to Robert Lewandowski, reportedly had a phenomenal showing at the session, while Bild essentially issued “diss track” on Zirkzee’s performance.
By making a statement, Zirkzee showed maturity and looks like he will be moving forward without making this an issue that will fester. One thing is certain, however: Should Zirkzee relax his effort — at least in the eyes of Bild — there is no doubt the German publication will be right there to re-ignite this now snuffed-out flame.