Despite struggling to make his mark for Bayern Munich over the past year, Joshua Kimmich could receive a vital confidence boost at the Tournament of Champions. The 22-year-old has won more than ten international caps under Joachim Low and most recently featured at right-back, the position at which he could replace Philipp Lahm for the German champions.
Although originally a midfielder, Kimmich was deployed across the back four during his debut season in 2015/16 as Bayern dealt with a lengthy injury list. By the end of the campaign he had 23 Bundesliga appearances, four cup matches, nine UEFA Champions League appearances and a league-cup double to his name. Former Bayern coach Pep Guardiola was enamoured with the versatile youngster, declaring: “Joshua has everything.” He was rewarded with a ticket to UEFA EURO 2016, where he shone at right-back.
Leipzig youth director Frieder Schrof once praised Kimmich in the most glowing terms, highlighting his “intelligence, technique, hard work, readiness to learn, self-awareness, confidence, will to win and willingness to accept responsibility, all without any fuss“.
Kimmich began his career by spending 12 years in Stuttgart’s youth ranks and featured for the first team in the Bundesliga. At the start of the 2013/14 season he moved to third-division RB Leipzig, where he quickly became a key part of the team that won promotion to the second tier. In 2015 Stuttgart made use of their buyback option only to immediately sell their young starlet on to Bayern Munich for the next chapter of his career.