The second matchday for Germany in the World Cup 2022 on Sunday is pivotal for the team’s hopes of qualifying for the next round of the tournament. Costa Rica has done a big favour for Germany earlier today by beating Japan. Germany will have to back up the fortune with a good result against Spain later today. Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich could have a new role in the game against the Spanish team.
Earlier this week, Hansi Flick didn’t squash down the talk about playing Kimmich in the right-back position on Sunday. Kimmich has largely played in the midfield for Germany over the past 18 months, but the poor performance from Niklas Sule in the right-back position may force Flick to consider Kimmich moving into the right side of the defense.
Kimmich is familiar with the responsibilities of the right-back position. He excelled for Die Roten for a season after the retirement of Philipp Lahm. The German international also played in most of the knockout games of the Champions League during the treble-winning campaign under Flick in 2020.
Despite his excellent performances as a right-back in the past, there is a lot of skepticism about removing Kimmich from midfield. While speaking to RND (via iMiaSanMia), former Bayern and German defender Lahm insisted that moving Kimmich out of the midfield position would be counterproductive for Germany.
"“Moving Joshua Kimmich from midfield to right-back is out of the question for me. I’d put Ginter on the right and Günter on the left. Why? Because it’s now all about having a compact defense.”"
Meanwhile, former Bayern midfielder Javi Martinez also believes that playing one of the best holding midfielders in defense is not exactly a good idea. The Spanish midfielder also believes that Germany should stick with the midfield partnership of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, which has worked well for Die Roten.
The concerns from Martinez and Lahm about the role change for Kimmich against Spain are understandable. However, Germany does have good midfield talent that can step up and allow Joshua Kimmich to provide quality in the right-back position.
Ilkay Gundogan has done a brilliant job for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in various midfield roles. He can slot in the holding midfield position and bring Leon Goretzka into the number eight position. The midfield pairing of Gundogan and Goretzka will provide a solid base for other attacking players to thrive in the final third.
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Meanwhile, Kimmich will provide a cutting edge higher up the pitch with his vicious deliveries. He has a good record of creating chances from the right-back role. Considering the personnel in the German squad, moving Kimmich to the right-back position could turn out to be a good move for Hansi Flick.