Kimmich backed to follow in Lahm’s footsteps after extending Bayern contract
The Germany defender has signed a new deal with the Bundesliga giants until 2023.
Jupp Heynckes believes Joshua Kimmich can go on to emulate Philipp Lahm after the full-back committed himself to Bayern Munich until 2023.
The 23-year-old has already played more than 100 games for Bayern after joining the runaway Bundesliga leaders from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2015.
Kimmich had been linked with a move to Manchester City to rejoin former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola but has poured cold water on such speculation by extending his stay in Munich by three years.
Manager Heynckes paid him the highest of compliments by comparing him to the much-garlanded Lahm, who retired at the end of last season.
Heynckes told a press conference: “Joshua Kimmich is a very intelligent and professional lad. He has great potential to develop and is incredibly talented. He can follow in Philipp Lahm’s footsteps.”
It is a case of when not if Bayern win another Bundesliga title, and they will attempt to make it 16 wins from their last 17 matches when struggling Hamburg visit on Saturday.
Heynckes said: “We have analysed our opponent. Hamburg are obviously under incredible pressure. We’re at home and want to build on our good performance in Freiburg.”
Bayern will be without forward James Rodriguez, who is back in training after a calf injury but will not be risked.
Hamburg can take heart from the fact they only lost 1-0 to Bayern in October but since then Bernd Hollerbach’s side have won only two matches and are on a 12-match winless run. This week there was a reshuffle behind the scenes, with Heribert Bruchhagen relieved of his duties as chairman.
The club sit second from bottom of the table, seven points adrift of safety, but Hollerbach is determined to stay positive.
He told a press conference reported on the club website: “Of course, Bayern are the best team in Germany, if not in all of Europe. So it’s undoubtedly going to be difficult.
“In previous weeks we have been much more stable and we have been playing with more courage. But in addition to our improved defence, we want to be creating more chances to take the lead.
“Nothing’s set in stone yet. We know it’s a tough situation, but I am convinced that we can stay up.”
Hamburg will be without Albin Ekdal, Bjarne Thoelke, Mergim Mavraj and Nicolai Muller.