Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich is taking inspiration from current and former club teammates as he prepares to reprise a midfield role for Germany.
Kimmich currently plays at right-back for Bundesliga champions Bayern, but the 23-year-old was restored to the number six position in Germany’s UEFA Nations Cup draw with France last month.
“I was really happy when I last played there,” he told SportBild. “It was a surprise to me. There was a bit of tension because I hadn’t actually played in that position for three years.”
That added flexibility did Lahm no harm, as he won the Bundesliga eight times with his club as well as the UEFA Champions League in 2013, while also lifting the FIFA World Cup with his country in 2014.
Kimmich will have picked up tips from Lahm, but he has also been learning from a trio of Spanish current and ex-Bayern teammates who have been part of the central cast in midfield.
“Javi Martinez is about defensive stability, aggression in his defensive movements, his aerial challenges and his heading ability,” Kimmich told SportBild.
“Xabi Alonso was brilliant strategically and in terms of his passing, whether it was short passing or his incredible long-passing game. His volleys were crazy.
“Thiago is more of a technician, who looks for one-on-ones in tight spaces. He can finish things by himself.”
Watch: Kimmich, a goal and assist machine!
The former RB Leipzig player has accepted that he is needed at full-back for Bayern in the short term. Kimmich is relishing the possibility, however, of playing in his favourite position again in Germany’s Nations League games in the Netherlands and France this month.
“They’re completely different,” he said of the two roles. “As a right-back I have a lot more intensive running to do.
“As a six I’m challenged every second – I’m always on the move. There are no little rest periods as a six. That’s extremely demanding mentally.”