At Bayern Munich, it just doesn’t seem to be working out for both Joshua Zirkzee and Michael Cuisance. The pair have been given a chance during preseason under Julian Nagelsmann to try and make an impression, but neither have been convincing in the minutes they’ve played in friendlies against FC Koln and AFC Ajax.
Per a new report from SPOX, there’s a general understanding amongst Bayern’s coaching staff and front office that both Zirkzee and Cuisance are “unteachable.” Because of this, it’s most likely that the club will do everything they can to try to sell both players before the summer transfer window closes.
It doesn’t help the player’s cases that they both had lackluster loan spells at Parma and Olympique Marseille, respectively. For Cuisance’s case, he was even suspended for the last few matches of the Ligue 1 season for disciplinary reasons, consistent with the attitude problems he’s shown during his time at Bayern.
For Zirkzee, he had shown promise when he was used by Hansi Flick in the 2019/20 treble-winning season, when he tallied four goals and 1 assist in the Bundesliga. Two of those four goals were massively important; one against SC Freiburg, and a late, late winner against VfL Wolfsburg at the end of the Hinrunde. After that brief period in that season, though, he hasn’t performed as well.
The past twelve months of Zirkzee’s career were arguably typified in Bayern’s 2-2 draw with Ajax just before the halftime whistle had gone when he missed a wide open chance after getting around Ajax’s keeper with ease. He had an open goal to tap in to, but was too casual and the ball was eventually cleared by one of Ajax’s defenders.
Speaking on Zirkzee’s blunder, Nagelsmann didn’t want to place too much added blame on the young striker. “I’m not going to talk to him because he knows he can solve it better. He didn’t do it on purpose. I hope that he will show a different seriousness in such a situation in a competitive game,” Bayern’s new manager said on the incident. Zirkzee had deleted his Instagram account after receiving abuse online from the mistake he made, which isn’t going to make matters any easier for him.
Both Cuisance and Zirkzee still have two more preseason chances before the competitive season begins for Bayern. Friendlies against Borussia Monchengladbach and SSC Napoli stand between now and the DFB-Pokal first round matchup against Bremer SV on August 6th.
At the same time, if Nagelsmann and Bayern’s front office have already made their mind up on the pair of players, they will also be looking for suitors elsewhere before the transfer window closes. Unfortunately for both players, there haven’t been many clubs expressing interest in either of them, either for loan spells or permanent buys. In that respect, Bayern is up against it.
If Bayern isn’t able to find clubs that would be interested in either Zirkzee or Cuisance, it will be up to Nagelsmann to try and get the best out of them, whether that means using them sporadically in the first team or having them spend most of their time with Bayern’s reserves.
When Oliver Kahn was officially unveiled as Bayern’s new CEO at the beginning of the month, he had said (on players like Zirkzee and Cuisance), “I have already seen that such players have taken developments that were not expected at all. We expect Julian Nagelsmann to succeed in developing these players and taking them to the next level.”
For Zirkzee, he’s behind both Robert Lewandowski and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the pecking order whilst Cuisance would be behind Leon Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich, Corentin Tolisso, and arguably Marc Roca, who’s currently dealing with an injury. Chances for both players would be few and far between at Bayern.