Many fans outside of his homeland may not have heard of Joshua Kimmich, but Bayern München and those following the U21 EURO in the Czech Republic most certainly have.
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Joshua Kimmich's tireless, tigerish displays in central midfield have provided Germany with the solid platform to reach the U21 EURO semi-finals. The new Bayern München man has been one of his nation's most impressive performers in the Czech Republic, and looks to have the ability that could help him fulfil his ambition of emulating Bayern's greats.
Name: Joshua Kimmich
Club: Leipzig (Bayern München from 01/07/15)
Debut: 28/09/13 v SpVgg Unterhaching
Date of birth: 08/02/95
Preferred foot: right
They say …
"Joshua has enormous quality and is versatile in both attacking and defensive roles. And he is still right in the middle of his development. I think he has a great career ahead of him."
Horst Hrubesch, Germany U21 coach
He helped us hugely against Serbia. He was at the heart of our first goal against Denmark, because he started off the move for the goal by winning the ball back superbly. He does that really well.
Team-mate Amin Younes after Kimmich's strong performances for Germany during the U21 EURO group stage
Kimmich was born in the picturesque Black Forest and joined Stuttgart's youth side when he was 12. He stayed there until 2013 when he decided to make the jump to professional football with RB Leipzig. "For me, it was the perfect step," Kimmich said afterwards. Due to an injury, he missed pre-season training and the first ten games of the campaign, but he earned himself a place in the side and became a regular fixture.
Playing style …
At Leipzig, he was part of an extremely attack-minded team in which his ball-winning qualities in front of a high back four shone through. In the Germany U21 side, he has a deeper role, but he has also caught the eye as a tidy defensive midfielder. Kimmich has great timing in his tackles, can dribble and does not mind putting in the legwork.
Shades of …
As an aggressive midfielder with a penchant for playing his way out of tricky situations, his playing style sometimes recalls that of İlkay Gündoğan.
Eureka moment …
Kimmich names his first senior start for Leipzig as his actual breakthrough, but he really came to prominence on a day when he was not playing. On 2 January, Bayern announced the signing of the Swabian-born youngster. According to media reports, the Bundesliga champions paid €8.5m for Kimmich.
Best-case scenario …
You have to have a degree of respect for the 20-year-old's courage in moving to Bayern where central midfield is already jam-packed with world champions and superstars. But Kimmich is so receptive and eager to learn that through training alongside Xabi Alonso, Philipp Lahm and company on a daily basis, he should raise his game to such a level that some playing time will come his way in the coming season.
He says …
"Of course Bastian Schweinsteiger is a huge role model for me, but from next season, we're team-mates and — in a certain way — rivals. I hope that I will get some playing time, which is finally down to me and my performances."