Bayern Munich could seal their eighth successive league title this weekend but they’ll have to manage without Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller.
The star duo are both suspended for the Saturday evening clash against Borussia Monchengladbach after picking up too many yellow cards.
Hansi Flick’s side could wrap up the title if Borussia Dortmund lose at Fortuna Dusseldorf and then Bayern beat Monchengladbach later in the day.
In the absence of Lewandowski and Muller, 19-year-old Joshua Orobosa Zirkzee is expected to be thrust into the spotlight and lead Bayern’s line.
The Holland starlet of Nigerian descent has made just seven appearances in the Bundesliga this season but has scored three goals in 26 minutes across his first four games, so much so that Bayern topbrass wants to tie him down to a long-term commitment.
But who is the talented teenage striker? Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the man waiting in the wings at Bayern.
Who is he?
From the city of Schiedam but from parents who are Nigerians , west of Rotterdam, Zirkzee has already played for five different clubs and he is only at the beginning of what looks to be a promising career.
During his early days he played for VV Hekelingen and Spartaan ’20 before his talent was picked up by ADO Den Haag.
Zirkzee continued to impress and was introduced to the international set-up at Under 15 level around a similar time to when Feyenoord snapped him up.
The youngster was a stand-out performer for the Eredivisie outfit, scoring 33 goals in 27 games in his one season at the club.
The prolific forward caught the eye of German giants Bayern and he put pen to paper on a deal three years ago. After signing a contract extension, his deal does not expire until the summer of 2023.
After making the switch Zirkzee gained experience in Bayern’s youth ranks before making the breakthrough into the first team this season.
How did he end up at Bayern Munich?
Bayern won the battle for Zirkzee’s signature back in 2017 with the wonderkid in high demand.
Premier League giants Manchester United and Arsenal were keen on bringing in Zirkzee at just 16 years of age from Feyenoord.
The Dutch side wanted to promote him to their U19s the following year and Ajax had already failed in a move to lure him to their academy.
Everton did overtake rivals Arsenal and United in the race to sign Zirkzee in the summer of 2017.
Zirkzee revealed he almost joined the Toffees as a long-term replacement for Romelu Lukaku earlier this year.
Everton was a serious option for me,’ he told Voetbal International
Ronald Koeman was coach, Romelu Lukaku left for Manchester United that summer and I got the feeling from Everton that there was a good chance I could really become something there.
‘They even offered me a contract whilst I was on trial.’
Despite having a trial at Everton a transfer to England failed to materialise as the forward opted for Bayern instead.
‘After I first trained with Bayern, I knew that’s who I wanted to join. I told myself, let me do three sessions – then I’ll decide if I’m good enough,’ Zirkzee added.
What’s his style of play?
Like his Bayern team-mate Lewandowski, Zirkzee carries a big presence up front, standing at 6ft 3in.
However the youngster is also a quick and tricky customer with plenty of skill and flair to his game.
With his goals for Bayern this season he has demonstrated he has the knack of being in the right place at the right time – that striker’s instinct.
Zirkzee scored the third goal in Bayern’s 6-0 victory over Hoffenheim earlier this campaign and it highlighted the composure in his game at such a young age.
With his back to goal and under pressure from a defender he controlled the ball with his right foot, turned and delayed the shot with his left before finding the net.
Zirkzee also has the ability to curl home free-kicks up his sleeve should he need to be called upon.
What has he achieved so far?
The youngster has had instant success in his short period at Bayern.
Zirkzee scored a hat-trick on his debut for the club’s reserve side last year and he made his debut for the first team in the Champions League group clash against Tottenham at just 18 last December.
But it was in the days that followed where he really made a name for himself. Zirkzee was introduced off the bench with Bayern locked level at 1-1 with Freiburg and the starlet put Bayern ahead in stoppage time on his German top-flight debut.
Just 72 hours later and Zirkzee came to the rescue once again, scoring a goal to put Bayern in front in the 85th minute against Wolfsburg.
What have people said about him?
Bayern boss Flick praised Zirkzee following his performance in Bayern’s 6-0 win over Hoffenheim, and emphasised the importance of him training alongside world-class stars, he said: ‘He’s showed in training that he’s got good quality and is a good finisher. He can hold the ball up well and has the physicality to do so, which is important when things are tight up top
He did well. It was the right decision to bring him in with the first team, as it was with the other young players because they can improve and learn by playing alongside top players every day in training.
‘Joshua’s performance was good, not top-notch, but pretty good. He scored a goal, which is important for a striker. He has plenty of room for improvement, though, and he knows that.’
Bayern academy manager Jochen Sauer told Kicker back in December: ‘Joshua is a great striker, that’s why we brought him from Feyenoord to Munich.
He is a striker type that is no longer so common today: tall, athletic, but still technically strong.’