Joshua Kimmich: Europe's Most Complete Footballer & the Heir to Both Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger


'The heir to two players?', is probably along the lines of your questioning, which, in fairness, is a valid point to make.

Both are Bayern Munich legends, with more trophies between them than is worth counting before giving up, and two of the finest players in their respective positions that both Germany and Europe have been fortunate to lay eyes on.


What's key in that is that they do, in fact, play in two completely different positions. Like, totally different.

Ask Joshua Kimmich to play in either, though, and you'll get a 9/10 performance without ever needing to drop a single concerning bead of sweat.

Now it's key to point out that Lahm also did this with consummate ease. Even popping up on either full-back slots, all the while giving off the impression that it'd been drilled into him for every day of his life to date. He could play any position with almost arrogant ease, without ever looking out of place.

But so could Kimmich. Actually, so does Kimmich.

When Lahm retired from football he left behind a void in the Bayern side, Rafinha slotted into the right-back position. But while he rarely excelled into the astronomical heights set by his predecessor, he was still a reliable and safe option in that role.

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Then there is Kimmich, who having been plucked from third division German football, has now propelled himself - in just over five short years - into the most complete footballer in Europe.

Having spent the majority of his Bayern career on the right hand side of a back four, hearing that he times his runs perfectly, surges up and down the touchline for 90 minutes, overlaps, crosses, can read danger and boasts tactical awareness...shouldn't come as a major surprise. After all, he's a right-back playing for one of the best sides on the continent.

But that he can do all the things Lahm was so magnificent at, while also turn into prime Bastian Schweinsteiger at the flip of a switch, demonstrates that we're looking at a true gem here. Someone who could prove to be the heir to both players' thrones in Bavaria.

Nine games into the current Bundesliga season and Kimmich had played four out of the first nine matches at right-back. He'd made that slot his own over the past few seasons and even then he was widely considered one of the best in world football in his position.

Throughout his time at the Allianz Arena, however, he's been called upon to sit in a holding midfield role. Tactically the positions are incomparable, while the roles bestowed upon you in each role bear vast differences.

Yet, as ever, Kimmich has been unfazed by the task. Not even unfazed, to be truthful. He's been a tranquility of magnificence.

Trying to find any flaw in his skillset is a challenge you wouldn't bestow upon your worst enemy. You'd keel over and start weeping before you even got to his passing abilities.

He controls games from midfield in the way Lahm would do. Sometimes the German was so effective that you didn't even know he was playing. Such was his grace in the centre of the park, the manner with with Bayern would tick over and recover the ball so effortlessly it seemed like they were forever on the attack.

But then in the manner of Schweinsteiger, who would grab the game by the scruff of the neck and bully the opposition, Kimmich has shown all the elements of that style too. He harasses and chases down possession, yet will charge with the ball and glide past opponents, crash a thunderous shot - or a glorious chip - goalwards or find a teammate with a defence splitting pass.

Right now we're lucky enough to have Bundesliga football back on our screens. I implore you, next time Bayern are on, don't give two hoots about anything else other than Kimmich. Watch him, study him and admire him.

Start analysing every facet of his game, eventually give up because there is too much to study, then go back to watching him, and then stop and think, 'is there a single footballer in Europe right now who is more complete?'

I'll do that bit for you: there is not.

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