Kimmich signs Bayern extension: 'The best years are yet to come'

By Sports Desk August 23, 2021

Joshua Kimmich is confident the best is yet to come for him at Bayern Munich, after the versatile Germany international signed a contract extension.

Bayern announced on Monday that Kimmich, who joined the Bundesliga champions from RB Leipzig in 2015, had agreed terms to keep him at the club until the end of the 2024-25 season.

Since breaking into Bayern's first team, Kimmich has established himself as one of Europe's top players, capable of playing in midfield or at full-back.

"It means a lot to me, both in a footballing and personal sense," Kimmich told a news conference.

"It's a decision that covers the next few years, and hopefully the best years are still to come.

"The feeling I get from the club and from our coach [Julian Nagelsmann], who has also signed a five-year deal, is one of security. Signing a coach on a five-year contract was also a sign. We are all looking forward to working together."

Using Opta data, Stats Perform has assessed just what Kimmich brings to Bayern, who are also looking to secure the future of another key player.

How important is Kimmich?

The heir to Philip Lahm's throne, Kimmich is perfectly adept playing either as a right-back or in central midfield.

With exceptional vision and a passing range to match, he ensured Bayern did not feel the absence of Thiago Alcantara following the Spaniard’s move to Liverpool, while his ability from distance has also helped him score 30 goals.

Since Kimmich's arrival from RB Leipzig in 2015, he has played in 175 Bundesliga matches – only David Alaba (176), Thomas Muller (188) and Robert Lewandowski (190) have played in more.

Kimmich's 10,672 successful passes are more than any team-mate at the club in the same time period, while he also ranks first out of outfield players for recoveries, having completed 970.

In all competitions, only Lewandowski (282) and Muller (279) have made more appearances than Kimmich (264), who has helped Bayern to 204 victories.

He trails only Muller (581) in terms of chances created. Kimmich has set up 499 goalscoring opportunities for team-mates in total, with 206 of these coming from set-piece situations.

Muller is again the only player to register more assists than Kimmich – 97 compared to 68.

Per 90 minutes, Kimmich plays 8.44 passes or crosses into the area, more than any player still with Bayern. Indeed, his total in that metric (1,936) is way clear of second-ranked Muller (1,058). In fact, since his Bundesliga debut for Bayern, Kimmich has played 2588 successful passes ending in the final third, more than any other player over that period

Defensively, Kimmich has made an impressive 282 interceptions, ranking him fourth for Bayern players since he made his debut in August 2015, while he has successfully completed 63.91 per cent of 363 attempted tackles.

 

One down, one to go?

With Kimmich's future secured, Bayern's attention might well now be on tying Leon Goretzka down to a similar long-term contract.

The former Schalke midfielder became a key cog under Hansi Flick and is arguably among the best box-to-box midfielders in world football.

However, his deal runs out at the end of the season, and Europe's biggest clubs would no doubt be circling for a player of such quality on a free transfer.

In 115 games for Bayern, Goretzka has racked up 25 goals and provided a further 20 assists, while his knack of making timely runs into the box has seen him be presented with 31 big chances – as defined by Opta as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score.

Only four players have had more big chances than Goretzka, though his conversion rate of 35.48 per cent demonstrates he still has work to do in that area.

Goretzka's work off the ball must also not be undervalued.

Of Bayern's current midfield options, only Kimmich has managed more recoveries than the 655 Goretzka has made since making his debut. Goretzka has also won 100 of 166 attempted tackles, registering an impressive success rate of 60.24 per cent.

Reports last week suggested a new deal for Goretzka had been agreed, so Bayern's number eight may well have his reward in the coming days.

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