One of the unexpected storylines of the young season has been the growing criticism of Joshua Kimmich’s ability to play a role within the central midfield at Bayern Munich and with the German national team.
It is not just @UlisSausages6969 or some other random person on social media lobbing the darts Kimmich’s way, though.
Former Bayern Munich and Germany star Michael Ballack is among those who think that Kimmich does not have the positional discipline to play in the central midfield in the way that Bayern Munich wants him to.
“He has proven that he can play in both positions. For me, he’s only world-class as a right-back, because that’s the way he grew up playing football. In midfield he sometimes ‘wants’ too much, which makes the team vulnerable,” Ballack told kicker (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “I’m a fan of using the best players in their best positions. We already saw that with Philipp Lahm — if you are a world-class full-back, it won’t necessarily work the same way in another position. I see the same thing with Kimmich at the very high level.”
Kimmich, whose personality can sometimes be explosive, does not appear to want to make the move to right-back permanently and any suggestion for him to do so, would likely be met with a lot of resistance.
Kimmich is 28-years-old now and a change to right-back could be beneficial for both Bayern Munich and Germany in the short-term. Kimmich, however, is also not an absolute burner. Given that, Kimmich would likely know he could shorten his own career with a position change at this point.
Kimmich, of course, did watch Lahm retire at 34-years-old because he did want to just hang around in the game as his skills and ability eroded. In reality, Lahm’s descent had already begun and matching up against younger speedsters as an outside-back became very difficult in his final seasons (granted, he did have some tremendous performances during that period as well). For a player like Kimmich, it would be easy to see why he might have looked at Lahm’s situation and tried to strategize a different career path.
Do you agree with Ballack? Should Kimmich switch back to playing right-back?
Should Joshua Kimmich move to right-back?
This poll is closed
Yes - for club and country.
Yes - for club.
Yes - for country.