Munich - When a club of FC Bayern München's stature moves for a relatively unknown 19-year-old on the second day of the winter transfer window, the headlines write themselves.
Touch of class
Joshua Kimmich only made his Bundesliga 2 debut on 10 August 2014, but if reports are to be believed he was the sole name on head coach Pep Guardiola's wish list this Christmas.
Despite not once having appeared for parent club VfB Stuttgart at senior level, the Rottweil native has been a virtual ever-present whilst on loan at RB Leipzig, helping the club gain promotion from the Third Division late last spring and continuing his freakishly mature displays in the second tier in 2014/15.
Guardiola experienced Kimmich's blossoming talents first-hand in Leipzig's final game of the Hinrunde at home to TSV 1860 Munich on 22 December, when the all-round midfield talent hit the mark with 78.3 per cent of his 60 attempted passes and enjoyed no less than 80 touches of the ball in an eventual 1-1 draw. Comparisons with the likes of Bayern string-pullers Bastian Schweinsteiger and Xabi Alonso were inevitable.
By trade, the 2014 , who has represented Germany at every youth level since the U-15s, is an archetypal Sechser. His short passing game is instinctive and precise; his movement fluid; and his willingness to cover all areas of the pitch unyielding. Although he has only scored three times in 40 appearances in all competitions in Leipzig colours, he is without question a player every bit in the Guardiola mould.
Kimmich won't be joining up with his new team-mates until 1 July, but will still only be 25 when his five-year deal expires in summer 2020 - by which time midfield duo Schweinsteiger and Alonso will have hit 35 and 37 respectively. Such forward planning is testament to Bayern's undying obsession to remain at the very top of the game. By adding one of Germany's most gifted young players to the books, that is exactly where they will stay.