By Danny Wright

Joshua Zirkzee has been spotted playing for Everton’s youth team in a CEE Cup fixture with FC Academy Pandev in the Czech Republic on Thursday.

The Daily Mail reported that the Toffees were confident of signing the 16-year-old goal machine ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal.

However it appears that they have beaten the two Premier League giants to the punch, with the European wonderkid wearing the No 18 shirt for Thursday’s game that was streamed live on the Generali CEE Cup’s official YouTube account.

His name was also included on the team sheet, which was posted by Generali CEE Cup’s official Twitter account, ahead of kick-off, confirming that it is him.

Zirkzee is regarded as one of the hottest talents in Europe at the moment after blowing away all that stood before him last season as he netted 33 goals in 27 appearances for Feyenoord’s youth team.

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Ronald Koeman and head of recruitment Steve Walsh have been extremely busy this summer and have made sure that the youth teams are strengthened just as much as the senior squad.

Henry Onyekuru, Boris Mathis and Josh Bowler have been signed this summer with a view to them stepping up to the first-team in the future with the Daily Mail also reporting that Newcastle youngster Lewis Gibson is also on the verge of a switch to Merseyside.

Zirkzee looks as though he as already joined the Toffees to some degree, whether he has joined the club permanent or just on a trial remains to be seen.

Football Insider Verdict

This looks pretty convincing that Everton have actually beat both Manchester United and Arsenal to signing a very highly rated youngster. His move to Merseyside might not be concrete though and other teams may still be looking to hijack Everton’s move for him, but the fact that he’s already pulled on the kit means that he might be willing to stay. Everton have had a brilliant transfer window so far and it has shown no signs of slowing down. It’s brilliant that Koeman is willing to put aside some of his budget to strengthen the youth ranks. That shows that he is committed to the Toffees on a long-term level, and that can only be good news to Evertonians.

In other Everton news, the Blues have received approaches for this midfielder.

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