Der Klassiker looms large this weekend and it promises to be another massive encounter between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Bayern took the first installment of der Klassiker this season in the form of the 3-2 DFL-Supercup win at the end of September thanks to a late goal from Joshua Kimmich. It was also Kimmich who scored the all important goal in Bayern’s 1-0 win over Dortmund at the end of May during the Bundesliga’s restart, which was hugely helpful in Bayern being able to win the title.
Ironically enough, in a recent interview with SportBild (via Goal) ahead of the massive clash this weekend, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke revealed that Kimmich is the one Bayern player that he’d love for Dortmund to sign the most. Recognizing that prying players away from Bayern is an all but impossible task, Watzke went as far as saying “that is pure fantasy, even from a purely economic point of view. But who I like the most over the last few years is Joshua Kimmich.”
There have, of course, been discrepancies between the two clubs with the way transfer business is handled, but in the same SportBild piece, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had claimed that the relationship between the front offices is “weather-resistant” now. Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels, and Mario Götze are all examples of players that have gone from one club to the other, and more than once for both Hummels and Götze. In particular, Dortmund wasn’t pleased with the nature in which Götze left for Bayern in 2013 before returning to Dortmund in 2016.
Kimmich really has been a thorn in Dortmund’s side every time the two sides have met in recent seasons and the last time he didn’t have a goal or an assist in a der Klassiker match was last November in Bayern’s 4-0 win just after Hansi Flick had taken charge. The goals an assists stats shouldn’t serve as the barometer of success, though, especially considering Kimmich was still, for the most part, at right back up until the later stages of last season. His performances on the main against Dortmund, Watzke said, are frustrating: “It always annoys me because he is just so good and he always scores against us. And the way he does it... it’s amazing – his development has been insane. The boy really impresses me.”
Despite his vociferous admiration of Bayern’s #6, Watzke might be in for yet another frustrating evening on Saturday, especially if, as is presumed, Kimmich is in the starting lineup for Bayern.