Joshua Kimmich can follow in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm after committing his long-term future to Bayern Munich, according to Jupp Heynckes.
Despite his previous deal having two years left to run, the versatile 23-year-old has signed a new contract that will keep him at the Bundesliga giants until 2023.
Comparisons to fellow German Lahm – a legendary name at Bayern who captained his country to glory at the 2014 World Cup – are understandable, considering Kimmich’s suitability to play in either defence or midfield.
Heynckes is full of praise for the former RB Leipzig player and believes he will go on to become a legendary name, just like the man he has replaced for both club and country.
“Joshua is a young player, he still has huge potential to develop,” the Bayern boss told the media.
“He’s very professional and listens – he tries to improve all the time. He has huge ability, so both for him personally and for Bayern it’s very positive that he has extended his contract.
“Joshua has all the abilities to follow in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm. I really like him, he wants to be good.
“I believe he could become a player who is in the public eye, just like Lahm. Philipp started on loan in Stuttgart but then went on to have a huge career. Can Josh captain Bayern? Why not?”
#Heynkes: “Joshua #Kimmich is a very intelligent and professional lad. He has a good character and has a clear opinion about certain topics. He’s part of the upheaval here at #FCBayern.” #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/MadK1MuV2P
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) March 9, 2018
Heynckes reckons Kimmich – along with Kingsley Coman and Niklas Sule – will play a pivotal role in helping Bayern through a transitional phase in the coming years.
The German club were recently linked with a move for Bordeaux’s Brazilian winger Malcom and Heynckes expects new faces to arrive as they freshen up an ageing first-team squad.
“Together with a few other young players, he [Kimmich] can be one of the faces of change at this club,” the 72-year-old added.
“Every team needs to change, you need to integrate new players. With Joshua, Kingsley and Sule, we have new players who have an influence and are very good.
“I’m sure Bayern will have an idea up their sleeve for next season, maybe in terms of buying another young player who can compete on this level.
“We are laying the foundations for the next few years. I’m not sure when we will see the results from all these changes, whether it will be next season or the year after, because you cannot buy players and expect them to immediately fill the boots of the stars who’ve been here for a decade.”
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) March 9, 2018
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