Joshua Kimmich (c.) is following his own path, but comparisons with Philipp Lahm (r.) persist. - © © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein
Joshua Kimmich (c.) is following his own path, but comparisons with Philipp Lahm (r.) persist. - © © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein

Joshua Kimmich 100 not out as he redefines Philipp Lahm's role at Bayern Munich

As Philipp Lahm, Thiago Alcantara, Thomas Müller, Xabi Alonso and Javi Martinez all watched on from the bench, a fresh-faced teenager pulled on his number 33 shirt and showed his peers why he had been earmarked as the future of Bayern Munich.

Two years and almost three months on from that 3-0 win at Darmstadt, Joshua Kimmich pulled on that famous red shirt for the 100th time at Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend.

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Still just 22, Kimmich has come on leaps and bounds from that starting debut for the record champions. Most of his early appearances were in the centre of midfield before an injury crisis hit the defence and he was slotted into the centre of the back four – for a UEFA Champions League last-16 clash with Juventus, no less.

Watch: Lahm's heir apparent, Kimmich makes it 100 not out!

His versatility has since stretched further as he beds into his new role, as Bayern's new regular right full-back; their new Lahm.

Lahm was also revered for his versatility, playing left full-back for Bayern and on the right for Germany before also switching at club and country into a defensive midfield role, lifting the World Cup in 2014 having played predominantly in that position in Brazil. It is almost the mirror reflection of Kimmich's career path to date, even if the 22-year-old shirks comparisons.

"It's nice, but on the other hand, I'd like to go my own way," he told Germany's Bild newspaper in the summer. "Philipp was brutally consistent and there were very, very few games in which he was not outstanding, and of course I'd like to make as few mistakes as Philipp did, and also play as intelligently as he did."

His is a modern interpretation of the full-back role, with his midfield propensities peeping through – not that this is such a bad thing.

"Joshua is one of the greatest talents I have seen in the past decade," said Germany coach Joachim Löw after Kimmich's latest outing for his country. "He's going to have an amazing career."

Few would argue with that assessment, just 99 games in, and with many more milestones clear in view on the horizon.

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- © gettyimages / ALex Grimm