Joshua Kimmich has been earmarked as a “future captain” at Bayern Munich for the better part of three years now and the 24-year-old certainly has the talent, fiery demeanor, and passion to demand respect from his teammates and coaches alike.
Already on the squad’s leadership council, Kimmich has asserted himself as a bridge between the old guard players like Thomas Müller, Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, and Jerome Boateng and the team’s younger players like Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Niklas Süle.
Yesterday, Kimmich used his platform to express that he was not happy with the team’s “level of play.” Understandably, Kimmich was frustrated after Bayern Munich’s 3-2 victory over SC Paderborn, in which the Bavarians were far from sharp.
The Bayern Munich front office reacted accordingly, but argued that Kimmich has to be ready both to lead and produce this week, too, if he criticizes the team. Bayern sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic said he respects Kimmich speaking up and is expecting a top performance from the Germany international this week (AZ):
If he says something, he has to lead the way out in front and deliver a top performance. Whoever opens his mouth has to march forward up front. He’s doing that, too. I like players who say something and take responsibility.
Kimmich’s remarks also caught the attention of Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who said,
If you are critical, you have to seize the standard and raise it. And then everyone has to run after it. Then he also has to deliver a great performance. He has to place the same demands on himself.
Kimmich clearly carries enough weight that two of Bayern’s highest functionaries would think his criticism warrants a response, although their message also indicates he needs to pull his own weight.
Kimmich’s ability to lead will be put to the test starting on Tuesday when Bayern Munich plays Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League and chases that with a Bundesliga match against Hoffenheim on Saturday.