Joshua Kimmich marked his 250th Bayern Munich appearance with another timeless display as his side ran out 3-1 winners over Werder Bremen on Saturday afternoon.
Bayern moved five points clear at the summit of the Bundesliga with the relatively comfortable win – and Kimmich had a hand in all three goals.
The midfielder sent in two wicked in-swinging corner deliveries from the left-hand-side that wreaked havoc in the Werder box and ultimately led to Leon Goretzka and Robert Lewandowski finding the net, and sandwiched in between these was a probing first time pass to pick out Thomas Muller in the build up to his side’s second – Serge Gnabry on the scoresheet following a slick Bayern move.
The fact that Kimmich has reached the 250 appearance mark for Bayern in a little over five-and-a-half years with the club is a pretty ridiculous feat in itself, and demonstrates just why he has been branded a ‘mentality monster’ by manager Hansi Flick.
Across his first five years with the club, Kimmich has averaged 44 appearances per season. A career high of 51 came during Bayern’s 2019/20 treble winning campaign, where he missed just one match (through suspension).
This would be impressive in normal circumstances, but to have done so during a season disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic – where fixtures were crammed together and intense demands were placed on the players – is an incredible display of athleticism, fitness and mental strength.
Kimmich spent the first four years of his Bayern career playing here, there and everywhere, but predominantly at centre back in his maiden season, and then at right back.
He has always been versatile, and has taken to his defensive midfield position exceptionally. The 26-year-old only got a consistent run of games in the role during the 2019/20 season, and within a year was regarded as among the best in the world. For a player renowned for his versatility to also be world class in one, specialised position is pretty rare.
This season, Kimmich has carried on from where he left off last term. He has averaged more touches per 90 minutes (102) and more passes (77) than any other player in the German top flight.
His relentlessness, athleticism and dogged determination are matched by midfield partner Goretzka, with the pair helping Bayern ferociously press and hustle their way to the top of the Bundesliga. He is such a key, understated cog in this fabulous Bayern side.
Here’s to the next 250.