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Former Barcelona star says ‘special’ £43m striker Arsenal want is just like Ronaldinho

Former FC Barcelona star Thiago Motta has likened rumoured Arsenal target Joshua Zirkzee with Brazilian legend Ronaldinho.

The Bologna attacker has been one of the breakout stars in Italy this season with Zirkzee emerging as one of the most exciting prospects in all of Europe having left Bayern Munich.

According to reports, Zirkzee’s form has now caught the eye of Arsenal, with Bologna already setting a reported £43m asking price for the Dutch youngster heading into the summer transfer window.

AC Milan v Bologna FC - Serie A TIM Zirkzee Arsenal Ronaldinho
Photo by Francesco Scaccianoce/Getty Images

And speaking to Football Italia, Bologna manager Motta has now likened Zirkzee to former Barcelona star Ronaldinho, praise that is hard to come by in this era of the beautiful game.

Motta said when asked about the Arsenal-linked Zirkzee’s work ethic and potential: “He said that his idols are Ibrahimovic and Batistuta, who are two excellent players.

“Seeing him day to day, he reminds me of the Ronaldinho I played with at Barcelona, but I cannot compare him to anyone. He is Joshua, he is special, he enjoys his football and above all works very hard in training.

“Since the first day of pre-season, he has always been the first to arrive at the camp. He has become a leader and it’s all to his credit. We just need to keep accompanying him, because he is certainly on the right path.”


Ronaldinho comparison shows how good Joshua Zirkzee could one day become

Barcelona v Real Sociedad
Photo by Luis Bagu/Getty Images

Few players this century can make football look as fun and as mesmerising as Ronaldinho, who for Barcelona and Brazil lit up the sporting world like few players ever can.

And for Zirkzee, being likened to the former Ballon d’Or winner speaks volume about how incredible the Dutchman’s potential is, especially coming from a man who played alongside Ronaldinho.

Indeed, Arsenal are aware that Zirkzee could one day become a fantastic Premier League attacker, and Motta’s praise could add a few million to the forward’s eventual transfer fee if a move was made this summer.

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