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Joshua Kimmich: “Versatility helps me to become a more complete player”

Joshua Kimmich talks about the importance of versatility and his wishes and thoughts of the ongoing season

FC Bayern Muenchen - Training Session Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern

Joshua Kimmich has been one of the brightest players for Bayern Munich this season, having contributed one goal and twelve assists this season. Kimmich is also the only player not named Manuel Neuer who has played every single minute in this Bundesliga season!

One reason for so many appearances is that Kimmich plays at right-back and is also occasionally moves to the number “6” position. This versatility makes him very valuable for Bayern, and he talked to about the importance of being a versatile player, not only for himself, but also for younger players.

After a positive start of the Rückrunde, Kimmich was asked about his opinion over the back-to-back wins and the year in general. He replied,

It was okay even if everything wasn’t positive. We had a great first half in the first match against Hoffenheim, but the second 45 minutes was much more open and we had a bit of luck. Against Stuttgart it was the first half that was worse and the second that was better. The results were fine, but the way we won wasn’t what we had in mind

Bayern’s main issue this season has been inconsistency and an inability to perform well over a full 90 minutes. Kimmich acknowledged that the team continues to work on its focus.

In his last game against Stuttgart, Kimmich set up two assists. He is thus the top provider in Bundesliga. Although he is pleased, he stressed that his first job is defense:

I’m pleased with goals and assists, especially because it means I’m helping the team. But I’m also happy when I’m not involved in goals but we still win. My main job is to defend, to make sure we don’t concede. And we need to improve there.

Bayern’s defense has frequently struggled this season and has been targeted as a major weakness. But Joshua says that the problem is not in defense or midfield — “the entire group must work together.”

Niko Kovač confirmed that some sort of rotation will be applied again soon. And that could also mean that Joshua will probably play in midfield again. What is his stance on versatility? Kimmich replied,

It’s important to be versatile in various positions if you want to break through at Bayern. An 18 or 20-year-old doesn’t normally arrive in Munich and is immediately made first-choice full-back by the coach. I was able to play in several positions so got into the team as a center-back, full-back and central midfielder. It meant the coach at the time always had the option to play me. That helped me a lot, but of course the goal is to make a certain position your own.

He also adds that it is fun for him to play at different positions because it allows him to see the game from different perspectives. He says that it makes him learn a lot and he is now a more complete player because of it.

Kimmich will soon turn 24. He described his goals for this season as follows:

In a sporting sense, of course I want to be German champion again, but Dortmund are doing really well at the moment. We’re doing well to just focus on ourselves. We still have a lot of tough games to come, and we need to concentrate on them. The situation is different from recent years because we’re not top of the league. Every game counts. We can’t lose many games now, in best case none at all. I absolutely want to get to the next round of the DFB Cup against Hertha, and in the Champions League I’m looking forward to the Liverpool tie. And then above all I want to stay fit so I can keep putting in top performances on the pitch.

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