Munich (dpa) – Hansi Flick is required. After Joshua Kimmich’s failure at Bayern, the coach will have to improvise until Christmas in the engine room of the Munich game.
But after the operation on the midfield boss’s right knee, no one needed to declare a state of emergency for the German record champion. This relief was evident in the words Hasan Salihamidzic chose when Bayern announced the intervention on the external meniscus of Kimmich’s knee and the expected downtime on Sunday evening.
“We are pleased that Joshua will likely be available to us again in a few weeks,” said Salihamidzic. The doctors and rehabilitation trainers assume that Kimmich will “be available again in January”. When the national player stumbled off the field with pain and tears on Saturday evening after the collision with BVB colossus Erling Haaland in Dortmund, the Munich bosses around Salihamidzic feared even worse damage to the Bayern professional’s right knee. But it turned out to be halfway light.
Flick had made a pragmatic statement immediately after the 3-2 in the highest Bundesliga match. “We have managed to deal with this injury against a strong Dortmund team,” said the 55-year-old. And you will keep “getting” it.
Flick now knows how long his bridging program will have to work without Kimmich. Ten more competitive matches are scheduled until Christmas, six in the Bundesliga, three in the Champions League and finally the cup match against second division Holstein Kiel. “Joshua is a very, very important player for us in six. It’s not that easy to replace him,” admitted Flick. The head coach had finally hailed Kimmich as a “mentality monster” in the Munich team just before the Dortmund sports accident.
The true meaning of a player for the collective often only becomes clear when he is injured. With the three-time winner, Kimmich could now achieve the status of irreplaceable ones like goalkeeper Manuel Neuer or goalscorer Robert Lewandowski.
“Jo is extremely important to us as six in midfield, against the ball, but also with the ball. He can always be played, he knows what to do in all situations,” said Flick van Kimmich.
There is no Kimmich double in the Munich luxury team. But Flick has temporary temporary help. Leon Goretzka, Kimmich’s ideal partner on the double six, is now even more important – as a manager and leading figure at the center. And the Frenchman Corentin Tolisso, who once cost 41.5 million euros, is also experiencing an increase in value. The world champion had to struggle for too long with the consequences of a torn cruciate ligament. But this season, the 26-year-old is blooming. “The way he plays now, he used to play in Lyon”, Flick recently praised the former Olympique pro.
Goretzka and Tolisso are not midfield strategists like Kimmich. They are very similar to the way they play. They are so-called box-to-box players who live off the dynamics and both radiate a great target danger when they storm into the penalty area of the opponent from below. Good old Javi Martínez will likely see an upgrade again. The 32-year-old Spaniard can still give the mass more clearly from the defense, but no longer stretcher all three, more selectively. “You can always rely on Javi one hundred percent,” said Flick of the two-time three-time champion, who nearly left the club in October.
Actually, the Spanish U21 European champion Marc Roca should get more attention now. The 23-year-old last-minute store is considered the modern six that best fits the Kimmich profile. The problem: the Spaniard, who was contracted by Espanol Barcelona for around nine million euros, must first “internalize” the Bayern game, as Flick said. Roca was only allowed to try it twice, once in the DFB Cup and once as a substitute in the Bundesliga.
In the absence of training times, Roca has to adapt the playing style of Munich mainly as a spectator. “We showed each new player our position profiles, the idea of how we want to play football. It doesn’t happen overnight,” explains Flick. He declared Roca with good talents: “He is very good technically, he has a good pass, a good switching game. Those are his strengths.” Flick could now speed up Roca integration.
The coach could also prefer David Alaba to defensive midfield. That is the Austrian’s favorite position anyway. But this option is unlikely, the Bayern coach prefers the defensive boss in the back.
Anyone who knows Kimmich’s ambition, however, suspects that the junior boss, who was first seriously injured in Munich, will toil with great zeal and zeal for a very quick comeback. “Jo has good healing meat”, said Goretzka in Dortmund. “We will provide him with the best possible support in his rehabilitation,” Sports Director Salihamidzic announced.