Joshua Kimmich has told kicker it was “exactly the right move” for him to join Bayern Munich when he left Stuttgart in 2015.
Kimmich, 22, moved to the Bundesliga champions for €7.5 million from Stuttgart in 2015 and has also established himself for Germany, helping them to Confederations Cup success earlier this season.
He endured frustrations at club level last season, with 19 appearances as a substitute leading him to voice unhappiness about a lack of playing time and be linked with Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City.
But he said: “It was already clear to me at the start of my first season that I wanted to make the breakthrough here at Bayern.
“Two years ago, I was playing in the second division [on loan at RB Leipzig] and I’ve developed very well in Munich. It was exactly the right move.”
He added that it was “important not to be a pushover at Bayern,” saying: “You have to be the sort of player to show up with a strong self-confidence, otherwise it’s hard for you to be taken seriously.”
Kimmich — who said he would play in goal if it meant getting starts for Bayern — added that he felt he had performed well in the first half of the season.
“After that, unfortunately, I didn’t get as many opportunities,” he added. “Of course, talks took place because the bottom line is the season ran far from perfectly for me, it was disappointing.
“To put it simply, it’s massively important for me to be on the pitch, to start important games and gain more experience.”
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said Kimmich will follow in the footsteps of retired captain Philipp Lahm as the club’s right-back, with the player saying that role was “a huge opportunity.”
“If I had the choice between playing 30-35 games as a right-back or 20 games in defensive midfield, then I would always choose the right side of defence because I play this position with absolute conviction and passion.”
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.