When even director of sport Matthias Sammer feels moved to single out one player for unstinting praise after a game, it's time to sit up and take notice. FC Bayern München's admonisher-in-chief is usually more focused on ensuring all feet remain firmly grounded as the record champions roll from one victory to the next. After the 3-1 win at FC Augsburg on Matchday 21, however, Sammer was happy to make an exception.
“Joshua Kimmich plays like an old pro already. The way he's plugging the gap at the back is really quite remarkable,” the director of sport enthused. Head coach Pep Guardiola could not agree more, going as far as to say, “It would be almost impossible to play better than Joshua Kimmich has over the last three or four games.”
The object of such praise from on high, freshly turned 21, has revealed a timely aptitude for operating as a stop-gap central defender. With Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez already sidelined, Medhi Benatia only just back in training and loan signing Serdar Tasci still settling in, the last thing Bayern needed was another serious injury to the unfortunate Holger Badstuber. The Germany international's ankle fracture leaves them stretched almost to breaking point in the centre of the defence. Step up, Joshua Kimmich.