In an interview with ESPN FC’s Raphael Honigstein, Bayern Munich defender Joshua Kimmich revealed that he had never thought about a potential move away from the Bavarians during the summer transfer window. The 22-year-old has been one of the most consistent performers for both club and country in 2017 and Saturday’s 1-0 win over Hamburg was the only match that he did not start across all competitions. There’s no denying how much of an impact Kimmich has been making in the squad, which makes it all the more refreshing that he didn’t entertain a move away from the club, despite not being a regular starter under Carlo Ancelotti in the 2016/2017 campaign.
Speaking to Honigstein, Kimmich reflected on his first season under Ancelotti, when he struggled to get consistent minutes behind the likes of Philipp Lahm and David Alaba:
It was a very hard time for me. When you're fit but you can't play, it's very hard, especially for the head, especially for a young player. But all you can do is train hard and give your best. Afterwards, it's the decision of the coach. I knew when I came here it wouldn't all be easy, that I wouldn't play every game. But my goal was to be a part of Bayern, to be a starter. I want to achieve things here.
In retrospect, the decision to stay with Bayern could prove to be the best decision Kimmich’s made in his career thus far. He’s become a regular starter in Bayern’s backline and his performances as of late have drawn stark comparisons to Lahm, though Kimmich has insisted that he’s his own type of player. Former Bayern manager Pep Guardiola has also come out and publicly lauded (via Goal.com) Kimmich:
He's always positive, always focused, always serious. Joshua has absolutely everything. I told him that he is one of the best home defenders in the world, but not only that, he can play anywhere.
His contributions from the right back position truly highlight his effectiveness.