Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich is one of the most versatile players in the Bundesliga. Kimmich’s ability to slide seamlessly into multiple positions is what drove Joachim Löw to push the 23-year old to a defensive midfield position for Germany.
As expected, Kimmich handled the move with aplomb during the last international break and will likely get two more opportunities to prove his mettle against The Netherlands and France in the coming days.
Kimmich sat down with SportBild (as captured by Bundesliga.com) and talked through how he felt about making the move for Die Mannschaft.
I was really happy when I last played there. It was a surprise to me. There was a bit of tension because I hadn’t actually played in that position for three years.
When seeking players to emulate when making the move, Kimmich did not have to look far. Kimmich’s Bayern teammates, past and present, gave the German international a variety of styles and attributes to study.
Javi Martinez is about defensive stability, aggression in his defensive movements, his aerial challenges and his heading ability. Xabi Alonso was brilliant strategically and in terms of his passing, whether it was short passing or his incredible long-passing game. His volleys were crazy. Thiago is more of a technician, who looks for one-on-ones in tight spaces. He can finish things by himself.
While Kimmich enjoys the different look he gets from manning the “6” for Germany, he knows his role with Bayern remains at right back, where his offensive prowess can be featured through his interplay with the likes of Arjen Robben, along with his deft crossing into the box.
When asked about the differing roles, Kimmich explained why he enjoys each position.
They’re completely different. As a right-back I have a lot more intensive running to do. As a six I’m challenged every second – I’m always on the move. There are no little rest periods as a six. That’s extremely demanding mentally.
Kimmich’s performance during this break and those in the future will likely help pave the way for where he fits on the Die Mannschaft roster. With a dearth of natural defensive midfielders, Kimmich’s versatility could be the key to providing a stable backbone to a German team seeking to re-establish itself as a world power.