With a goal, an assist and a clean sheet to boot in Bayern Munich's 3-0 win against Anderlecht on Tuesday night, Joshua Kimmich once again underlined that he can pretty much do it all.

The 22-year-old, who shone in Germany's recent 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Czech Republic and Norway, once again put in a near faultless performance for Bayern at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

With the crowd becoming somewhat restless at the team's struggles to find a second goal to kill off ten-man Anderlecht, Kimmich delivered a superb first-time cross to allow Thiago Alcantara to lay any fears to rest. In stoppage time, the former Leipzig and Stuttgart man then darted inside the opposing full-back to collect a precise Jerome Boateng pass, dance around the goalkeeper and roll in a third goal. It was a finish that displayed dexterity, composure and skill in equal measure.

Undoubtedly, Kimmich is playing with supreme confidence at present, and really that comes as no surprise given he has completed 90 minutes in all of Bayern's competitive games this season. In the recent international break, he also equalled a record set by the great Franz Beckenbauer in starting and finishing 21 international matches in a row for Germany.

His position on the pitch, for both club and country, has drawn comparisons with Bayern and Germany legend Philipp Lahm, who retired last season, and though those comparisons are unlikely to go away, Kimmich has himself said how he does not wish to be perceived as "a Philipp Lahm clone".

Germany’s record appearance-maker Lothar Matthäus, in praising his versatility, also appears to be fuelling the comparisons with Lahm, but while there are similarities between the two, there are differences too.

Lahm may have been one of the great attacking full-backs, comfortable on either flank, but he was a defender by trade. Kimmich, meanwhile, has gradually been converted into a right-back - especially when playing for Germany - after originally breaking through at Stuttgart and RB Leipzig as a defensive midfielder.

As such, it could be argued he has a more natural instinct to get forward than his predecessor, and in actual fact, his tactical intelligence when going forward almost marks him out as having more of a striker's instinct than a defender's. He scored seven times in a little over a month at the start of last season, a run that included four goals in five Bundesliga matches.

Kimmich in action for Germany in the recent international break.
Kimmich in action for Germany in the recent international break.

Indeed, some of the attacking positions he takes up are reminiscent of another Bayern and Germany team-mate: Thomas Müller. Like the long-serving forward, Kimmich is extremely intelligent and extremely versatile, while perhaps lacking in the technical skills of others. Nevertheless, even as a defender he occupies spaces on the pitch in attacking positions that opposition defenders seemingly cannot track, enabling him to score the type of goals Müller has made a career out of scoring.

In the below clip, taken from a 1-1 draw at home to Cologne last season, Kimmich played in defensive midfield, while on Tuesday he was at right-back. Each goal was expertly taken, but consider the position he found himself in to score them. Then consider which goal might have been scored by Müller and which by Lahm, and the extent to which Kimmich resembles not just one of them but both becomes that much clearer.

Watch: Kimmich scores for Bayern against Cologne on Matchday 6 in 2016/17

Kimmich has attempted to distance himself from the Lahm comparisons, emphasising his desire to "go his own way" in his career. Unfortunately for him, it appears the comparisons will not go away in a hurry, but there are few greater compliments than being mentioned in the same breath as one of the game's modern legends.

It could be argued he can do more than Lahm going forward, scoring goals as well as assisting them. He has six goals in 53 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern; Lahm scored 12 in 332. Kimmich also has two goals for Germany in 22 appearances since May 2016, while Lahm managed five in 113 caps, spread over 11 years.

Kimmich (r.) and Jerome Boateng celebrate the Reds' third against Anderlecht.

So perhaps Kimmich is less a Lahm clone and more of a Lahm-Müller hybrid, a concoction of traditional German toughness and modern tactical flexibility, able to attack, defend, score and create. He can also lead, and since he appears to be a fixture for Bayern and Germany for years to come, he could even be a future captain of club, country or both. Indeed, why not throw a dash of Beckenbauer into the mix too?

Kimmich might count each of those players among his influences, but make no mistake: he is treading his own unique path.

Bernie Reeves

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