Anyone who has followed Bayern Munich since 2015 knows Joshua Kimmich is a force of nature. The 25-year-old is not only one of the best players in multiple positions, he also happens to be among the greatest endurance athletes in football right now. Whether it’s in central-midfield or at right-back, the Germany international poses a leading presence on the pitch as he establishes order and dictates the Bavarians’ play.
Speaking to the media in the post-match press-conference of Bayern’s DFL-Supercup win over Borussia Dortmund, coach Hansi Flick was full of praise for Bayern’s new number six (Bundesliga.com).
“As long as I’ve known him, his mentality is very special,” said Flick. “He is well on his way to being one of the players that shape this club.”
Against Dortmund, Kimmich contested in 14 duels, provided the most crosses (6) and scored the decisive goal for his team. His willingness to engage in rough challenges, ability to orchestrate the team’s play while simultaneously providing a goal-scoring threat makes him a one-man-midfield in modern football. It is no surprise that the UEFA Champions League defender of the 2019/20 season has long been touted as the future captain of his club and country by fans and pundits alike.
However, when a player consistently puts in backbreaking performances, it is natural for the coach to consider resting him. Hansi Flick, however, faces a dilemma when it comes to his team’s midfield motor.
“I always think about when I can give him a break, but then I have to expect he’ll be angry,” said Flick. “He always wants to be on the pitch.”
Kimmich played the full 90-minutes against Borussia Dortmund and produced a man-of-the-match worthy display. What’s even more astounding is that he put in a workmanlike show despite playing every minute of Bayern’s 2020/21 campaign and had covered a total distance of 12.1km against Hoffenheim in a match three days prior to the Supercup. The fact that the young German hasn’t rested for even a minute and has consistently managed to be among Flick’s top performers in every match speaks volumes about his indefatigable stamina and fighting spirit.
Next up for Die Roten will be Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga. The Bavarians face the Berliners this Sunday and given the lack of technical midfielders in the squad, Kimmich should be fully expected to receive his fifth consecutive start of the season.