Bayern Munich: Michael Ballack wants Joshua Kimmich to make positional change

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Ballack wants Joshua Kimmich to play in the right-back position. (Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images)
Former Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Ballack wants Joshua Kimmich to play in the right-back position. (Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images) /

The summer transfer window for Bayern Munich was largely dominated by their pursuit of Harry Kane. The Bavarian club wanted to adequately replace Robert Lewandowski, who left Bavaria to join Barcelona last summer. After complex negotiations with Spurs for two months, Die Roten broke their transfer record to sign Kane in mid-August.

Bayern were also keen on strengthening the midfield department during the summer. They completed a deal for Konrad Laimer at the start of the summer. The Austrian midfielder arrived in Munich on a free transfer from RB Leipzig. The club chiefs reportedly believed that signing of Laimer was enough to strengthen the midfield in the summer.

However, Thomas Tuchel had read the midfield situation in a different manner. After the arrival of Laimer, Tuchel wanted to add a defensive midfielder to the squad. Tuchel believed that the current squad lacked a midfielder who could provide physicality and screening to the back four.

Joshua Kimmich insisted during the pre-season tour that he considers himself a number six. The German midfielder has been playing in this position for the past few seasons. However, former Bayern midfielder Michael Ballack doesn’t believe Kimmich’s best position is in midfield. While talking to Kicker this week (via iMiaSanMia), Ballack wants Kimmich to rethink about his best position for Bayern and Germany.

"“He has proven that he can play in both positions. For me, he’s only world-class as a right-back, because that’s the way he grew up playing football. In midfield he sometimes ‘wants’ too much, which makes the team vulnerable I’m a fan of using the best players in their best positions.”"

Kimmich excelled for Bayern in the right-back position after Philipp Lahm retired from football in 2017. He provided close to 30 assists across two campaigns when he played in the right-back position. However, Kimmich always believed that he preferred playing in the midfield when the game was played in front of him. (Stas courtesy: Transfermarkt)

The German international remains an emergency option for Die Roten in the right-back position. He may not like to move into a position at the age of 28 where he will have to rely on pace. Joshua Kimmich may still play in the right-back role for Germany. Joachim Low and Hansi Flick have used him in this role over the past few years.

Kimmich is creative with the ball, and he provides intensity in the center of the park. However, his best position in midfield is the number eight role, where he is not the main guy in terms of providing the screening to the back four. Tuchel also probably wants Kimmich to play slightly higher up the pitch with a strong defensive midfielder behind him.

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Bayern tried to sign Joao Palhinha from Fulham on deadline day, but the move collapsed at the last minute. The Portuguese midfielder remains a target for Die Roten, so a move could materialise in January. If Palhinha ends up arriving in Munich, Kimmich may play regularly in the number eight during the peak years of his career. It may bring the best out of him. A move to the right-back position on a permanent basis is unlikely to happen for Kimmich at Bayern.