Yesterday, Bayern Munich ran out 3-2 victors in Dortmund after a thrilling contest between Germany’s premier two sides. However, this crucial win was marred when Joshua Kimmich, Bayern’s stalwart midfielder, sustained an injury and had to come off the pitch.
Kimmich was injured trying to stop Dortmund’s Erling Haaland from breaking on a dangerous counterattack. Visibly in pain, the midfielder seemed to have injured his right knee. Now, Kicker reports that Kimmich has torn his meniscus and will require surgery.
Journalist Alex Schluter also corroborates these reports of a meniscus tear and says that Kimmich will miss potentially three months of action!
This is of course a heavy blow for both Bayern Munich and Germany. However, it at least means that Kimmich should play a part in Bayern’s late season Champions League aspirations, and in Euro 2021 for Germany.
What should Bayern do in the meantime?
Kimmich is a very important player in Hansi Flick’s Bayern setup, arguably rivalling Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller in terms of importance. He will be hard to replace.
While on paper Corentin Tolisso and Leon Goretzka seem to be the obvious choice as double pivot in Kimmich’s absence, reality will differ. Both Tolisso and Goretzka are box-to-box players who can’t replace the metronomic passing and defensive capabilities that Kimmich provides.
Another option could be to pair Javi Martinez with Goretzka. However, playing Martinez in midfield regularly for Flick’s Bayern would severely limit the team’s capabilities. Kimmich’s forays forward, attacking ability, and playmaking wouldn’t be replaced by the slow, defensive Martinez. Bayern simply wouldn’t be able to exert their trademark control over the game with the Spaniard in midfield.
So, with Tolisso and Martinez not being suitable options to partner Goretzka, that leaves one more — new signing Marc Roca. Seemingly a replacement for fellow countryman Thiago, Roca has the technical ability to match Kimmich and seems to be the best like for like replacement in midfield.
In addition to Roca, David Alaba could get his long wanted move to midfield. He has the passing ability to play as a deep lying playmaker and his defensive credentials can’t be argued with.
Yes, Kimmich is a big loss for this Bayern Munich team. But it is a loss that can and will be dealt with through the Bavarian’s deep squad.