Manchester United has been informed about the reasons why a £70 million Serie A striker would be an ideal choice as a number 9. The coach, Ten Hag, is strongly urged to make a significant effort to secure his signing.

Manchester United is allegedly closely considering the possibility of signing Joshua Zirkzee during the upcoming summer transfer window. A thorough analysis of the player reveals precisely why he would excel under Erik ten Hag’s tactical style and significantly improve upon Anthony Martial’s performance.

Zirkzee has been experiencing a highly successful season with Bologna in 2023/24, which has garnered significant attention from top-tier teams including Bayern Munich, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan, and others.

However, it appears that Manchester United is the team that has the most definite connections to sign the 6ft 4in Dutchman in the upcoming summer. Who is he and does he integrate well with Manchester United?


Zirkzee is the central figure in Bologn’s offensive strategy. He plays a crucial role in setting up plays, consistently generating opportunities for his teammates by effectively distributing the ball from deeper positions to wider areas.

His exceptional spatial awareness enhances his effectiveness in this task, as he constantly scans his surroundings to identify available space. Furthermore, his movement facilitates the creation of additional spaces. This striker possesses exceptional intelligence.

Upon analyzing Man Utd’s performance last season, the acquisition of Wout Weghorst garnered attention due to its unexpected nature. However, Weghorst played a vital role as a facilitator, contributing significantly to Marcus Rashford’s exceptional performance.

Utilizing this kind of striker is the key to maximizing the performance of an inside forward like Rashford, who is not heavily involved in the initial stages of the game.

Rashford’s decline in performance this season is mostly attributed to the quality of his teammates. He had less opportunities to produce chances and lacked confidence.

Signing another striker who possesses the ability to orchestrate play for him could be the crucial factor in unlocking his potential. Weghorst performed adequately, but there were also certain constraints in his gameplay.

Weghorst’s displays prompted Manchester United fans to ponder, “if only he excelled in other facets of the game,” such as goal-scoring and dribbling, for instance! Zirkzee embodies just such characteristic.

At the age of 22, he possesses an exceptionally high degree of creativity, a significant increase in mobility and technical skills, and a considerable amount of untapped potential.

An impressive improvement over his fellow countryman, he not only scores goals himself but also excels at creating opportunities for his teammates like Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.

Zirkzee often employs a distinctive tactic of retreating towards the midfielders or defenders to collect the ball during the team’s offensive buildup. This allows him to evade the other team’s pressing and receive the ball while facing away from the goal. He then swiftly turns away from a defender, and delivers a precise pass towards the wings, enabling a wide player to make a forward run. Rashford, a goalscoring winger, is a perfect match for this situation.

Although he possesses a considerable height, the 22-year-old individual is remarkably nimble on the field. He particularly enjoys executing a Cruyff-turn to deceive his opponent and create distance in order to take a shot or advance the play into open areas.

It is uncommon to witness someone exhibit such exceptional movement at this elevation, and it can be attributed entirely to the mobility in his hips. He will rapidly rotate within the box to outmaneuver a defender and take a shot towards the goal.

Zirkzee has scored multiple goals with this precise technique. An adept initial contact to control the ball followed by a rapid and sophisticated maneuver inside the penalty area to take a shot.

Because he is ambipedal, he is capable of engaging a defender from any side and striking the ball cleanly with either foot. Unforeseeable and hence, challenging to counteract.

His exceptional skill at playing with his back to the goal is truly captivating to observe. He excels not just in evading his opponent but also in generating opportunities for more skilled runners.

At Bologna, a highly prevalent partnership is formed between Zirkzee and the Scottish player Lewis Ferguson. Zirkzee retreats to a deeper position in order to receive the ball, which causes the defender to move forward and leave a gap behind them. Ferguson identifies the available area and moves into it, while Zirkzee delivers a pass to the spot for Ferguson to sprint towards.

This precise combination is a plausible scenario that may occur with the skillful runs made by an attacking midfielder like Fernandes or even Scott McTominay, who excels at making powerful runs into the penalty area.

Indeed, the partnership between McTominay and Zirkzee would be highly lethal if McTominay were to remain. An extremely harmonious pair. An ideal pairing!

I particularly admire the Bologna forward’s remarkable ambipedal skill. Equally proficient at dribbling, passing, and shooting with both feet.

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