The transition from being a fringe player to a mainstay in the starting lineup is a huge leap for any player. Such has been the case for Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich.
Kimmich, 21, dazzled against Russian outfit FC Rostov, bagging a brace as Bayern utterly dominated their first Champions League game of the season. His touch was nothing short of sublime throughout the tie.
The 5-0 victory against Rostov was on the cards even before kick-off. However, the Russian outfit’s inability to launch counter attacks came across as a huge surprise.
The midfield combination of Thiago, Vidal and Kimmich ensured that Bayern won the ball back quickly anytime they lost possession. Bayern made 29 interceptions in the game; the midfield trio made 15 of those.
The Germany international played a pivotal part alongside Vidal and Thiago in controlling the game, slowly opening up Rostov’s defence.
The 21-year-old was introduced into the fray by Ancelotti at the start of the season. He was called up to the German National team in a similar manner to feature as a right-back.
Kimmich has featured at the expense of Xabi Alonso in four of his last five appearances for Bayern. His ability to play anywhere in midfield and as a full-back underlines his versatility.
He shares similarities with Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan as UEFA’s Philip Rober has noted in the past. Both players have the ability to win the ball back cleanly, but Kimmich is notably more decisive in front of goal.
Kimmich’s style of play is similar to that of Bastian Schweinsteiger, and he often cites the veteran midfielder as his source of inspiration. He’s always keen on dictating play and getting his name on the scoresheet as much as he can.
Bayern Munich would benefit a great deal with Joshua playing every week as Renato Sanches hasn’t looked the part ever since he arrived at the Allianz. At the moment Kimmich is a better alternative to the Portuguese star. His consistent desire to get into the crux of games has helped Bayern’s resolve thus far.
Kimmich’s Best Position
Kimmich’s versatility provides Ancelotti with an option across multiple areas on the pitch. While competent as a defender, Kimmich seems to play his best football as a central midfielder.
Eventually, he’ll be keen on featuring more frequently as a midfielder in a bid to cement his position at Bayern. His composure and ability to win the ball back make him a perfect candidate for a midfield role.