Former Bayern Munich defender Jan Kirchoff has described the Bavarian side's new signing Eric Choupo-Moting as an “absolutely exceptional player” and says that the move is a perfect fit for both player and club due to the Cameroon international's skillset.
Kirchoff, who now plies his trade with Uerdingen 05 in the 3.Liga, was team-mates with the former Paris Saint-Germain star at both Mainz and Schalke, with the pair often pitted against each other during training sessions.
And while Choupo-Moting's goals-to-games ratio might not make for the most impressive reading, Kirchoff believes that his old friend has a combination of attributes that make him a special and unique player – even if he doesn't boast the same goal return as some of the game's greats.
“Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is moving to FC Bayern. This may come as a surprise to many, but to be honest, it doesn't surprise me. Rather, Choupo has arrived at a club to which he is a perfect fit given his skills,” the 30-year-old wrote in a column for Goal Germany.
“No exaggeration: It's really crazy how good Choupo actually is. He has everything – he's quick, understands the game, makes clever runs, he's agile, technically strong, has good ball control and dribbling.
“The only thing that sets him apart from guys like Robert Lewandowski or Zlatan Ibrahimovic is his finishing consistency.”
Indeed, Kirchoff pointed to a lack of selfishness that has perhaps prevented the striker from becoming a household name.
“In terms of character, Choupo is a very good guy, very positive, happy, satisfied person,” he added. “On the other hand, he might be missing that egotism that the likes of Lewandowski brings with them.
“At Schalke, for example, he was never the absolute go-to player he could have been with his skills. If you want to be the main man, you have to demand it selfishly, like Kevin-Prince Boateng or Klaas-Jan huntelaar did.
“From Bayern's point of view, the transfer makes perfect sense. With him, miracles are not expected. But at the same time, everyone who has worked with Choupo knows that he has great qualities.
“Just because Choupo never had the very best stats doesn't mean that as a footballer he is worse than others.”