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Joshua Kimmich doesn’t want you to compare him to Philipp Lahm but you should anyway

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Joshua Kimmich is really good

Northern Ireland v Germany - Group C: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

After an impressive second-half of the season at Bayern Munich, Joshua Kimmich earned his place with Germany’s national team due to his aptitude at a number of positions. That he subsequently took that place, ran with it, and then put in one of the best German fullback shifts in years should not be surprising. That performance against Northern Ireland has drawn rave reviews and earned ever growing comparisons to Philipp Lahm.

Turns out Joshua Kimmich doesn’t really seem to think these comparisons are correct.

Philipp is for me the best fullback in the world, I have only had, however, a game to this position. Therefore, one can not compare - even if a person would. - Joshua Kimmich, DFB

Unfortunately, Joshua Kimmich is being far too modest. Let’s take a look at his positional appearances listing this season for Bayern Munich:

  1. 17 appearances at centerback
  2. 7 appearances in midfield
  3. 3 appearances at fullback
  4. 10 substitute appearances — all during the first half of the season when he exclusively played midfield

That’s the mark of a tactically malleable player who plays great defense, has great passing and on-ball skills that make him a force to be reckoned with. That sounds an awful lot like early and late career Philipp Lahm.

So yeah, after a performance against Northern Ireland that saw him notch four chances created, a 90% passing success rate coupled with 80% cross completion, and the second most touches on the entire Germany team, Joshua Kimmich has earned the comparisons to Philipp Lahm.