Carlo Ancelotti is not putting up with any shenanigans when it comes to Joshua Kimmich’s future at Bayern Munich. Speaking at his press conference before the match against Augsburg, Ancelotti was unequivocal in his words, saying "There is no possibility of Joshua Kimmich leaving this club,". From Ancelotti to Karl-Heinz Rumenigge to Uli Hoeneß to Jogi Löw, everyone is in agreement that Joshua Kimmich is one of key cogs of both Bayern and German football going forward.
While Kimmich’s future is not in doubt, his position is. With the impending retirements of both Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm, speculation is running rampant as to where Joshua Kimmich will land long term.
Rumenigge and Hoeneß may be the most vocal voices and they see Kimmich as Lahm’s successor which is maddeningly unhelpful because the Bayern captain has shown that he can be both one of the world’s greatest midfielders along with being the world’s best rightback. Nor is it incredibly appropriate for a young player as strong as Joshua Kimmich to be pigeon holed into replacing a player who may be irreplaceable.
Germany head coach Joachim Löw has utilized Kimmich as his primary rightback for the national team for the better part of the last year, giving him much needed experience at the position while Lahm has marauded the right for Bayern. But even Löw has grown frustrated at the lack of general playing time that Kimmich has received.
At the end of the day though, while the Bayern front office and Löw have their opinions the only one that matters come matchday is Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian has preferred defensive stability, utilizing Joshua Kimmich in a multitude of midfield roles including dropping in for Xabi Alonso, Thiago, or Arturo Vidal. It’s both simultaneously a testament to the versatility of Kimmich and a longterm detriment for Kimmich at Bayern.
If there’s one thing that is almost universal among players, it’s stability. Knowing where they’re going to play game-in and game-out is the key. And Kimmich doesn’t have to look far back to see just how frustrating that can be. Over the Guardiola era, Lahm expressed his discontent multiple time at being shuffled back and forth between positions according to Guardiola’s tactical needs. Having to learn multiple positions and teammate tendencies, all while being the captain and the general, will take a toll on a player.
For a player like Joshua Kimmich who is at the early stage of his career breakout, giving him that niche he can call his own and excel in could be the very thing he needs to take the next step. If Ancelotti is willing to call out Kimmich’s future so concretely, perhaps it’s time for the Italian to start addressing exactly what that future will look like.