Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich has evolved into one of the world’s top midfielders, but against Mainz 05, the 25-year-old was asked to throw his game back to a simpler time when mostly everyone was just calling him, “the next Philipp Lahm.”
Kimmich’s cameo at right-back against Mainz — which resulted in a goal and an assist — was just that, a cameo, per Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick.
“We know that six is his favorite position,” said Flick. “But he put himself at the service of the team.”
Anyone who was looking for a potential position switch for Kimmich can probably just keep looking. It sounds like Kimmich will remain a defensive midfielder unless Flick reaches a “break glass in case of emergency”-type situation.
In an obvious bit of advice, Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke is advising star striker Erling Haaland (20) against a move as early as this summer. Oddly, though, Watzke is also saying that Haaland should follow the path already set by...Robert Lewandowski.
“Erling and also his advisor Mino Raiola know what they have in us,” Watzke told kicker (as captured by Sport Bild). “I can only advise him to do as Robert Lewandowski did.”
Let’s assume that Watzke does not mean wait until your contract expires and take a free transfer to Bayern Munich. Perhaps he is thinking along the lines of something like “develop into a bonafide superstar at Borussia Dortmund.”
Anyway, Watzke is not expecting Haaland to make a move this summer despite a tidal wave of reports, including one that stated BVB would be willing to sell Haaland for a nine-figure sum.
“It’s clear that if Erling should leave us at some point, he will only go to an even bigger club. And there aren’t that many to consider. If you go to a club like — just to give an example — Real Madrid, you have to be world class,” Watzke said.
Haaland’s contract with Borussia Dortmund run through the 2023/2024 season, but also is rumored to have a buyout clause that would be active after the 2021/2022 season.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is scoring at a frightening rate:
Robert Lewandowski has played a direct hand in goals in just Bundesliga appearances this season!— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 4, 2021
As many as Manchester City and more than 59 of the 98 clubs in Europe's top five leagues pic.twitter.com/q4twucTUf2
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is not shocked that Timo Werner and Kai Havertz are having some trouble at Chelsea. As a German who made the leap to the Premier League, Gundogan knows there is definitely an adjustment period that happens after moving to England:
“They have two new German players who have tried to adapt as well as possible,” Gundogan said. “In general, I think it’s not easy to adapt quickly to the Premier League when you come from a different country and now with the situation going on, I think it’s just even harder. So I think it’s quite normal that they are struggling a little bit, but they both have incredible talent and I’m sure they will both be able to prove it in this league.”
The unfortunate part for Werner and Havertz is that there is little stability with Chelsea at the moment. More likely to throw more money at a problem than problem-solve internally, both Werner and Havertz are probably wishing that Hansi Flick had just a little bit more say in Bayern Munich’s personnel decisions last summer.
Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc denied knowing anything about those alleged Julian Brandt-to-Arsenal rumors. As Sport Bild’s Christian Falk notes, however, Zorc did not unequivocally state that Brand wasn’t for sale:
Michael Zorc, Head of Sport @bvb, about the rumors of a @Arsenal interest in @JulianBrandt: “I read that too, I can't say more about it. there is nothing on the table - and not even in the fax machine.“ what Zorc does not say: Brandt is not for sale...— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) January 2, 2021
And then there was this:
Given how in flux the Borussia Dortmund lineup and roster is right now, a move for Brandt might not be the worst thing. If he is not a permanent part of BVB’s starting XI at this stage, he should move on.
John Dillon posted this in our Slack channel and I thought it was awesome, so here you go:
Map shows the areas of Germany where you can drive to a professional football team (top 3 leagues) within one hour. 62% of Germans have quick access to a 1 Bundesliga team. The two stadiums in Berlin are much further apart than I would've guessed. Source: https://t.co/NpKM8QxZEa pic.twitter.com/cpGCPvyPkq— Simon Kuestenmacher (@simongerman600) January 4, 2021