Kimmich the natural heir to Lahm, says Ancelotti

19 May 2017

The 22-year-old Germany international has been tipped for a "fantastic future" by the Italian boss, who has been impressed by the defender

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti says that it will be "impossible" to replace Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso, but named Joshua Kimmich as the former's "natural" heir.

Lahm and Alonso will bring the curtains down on their careers in Saturday's Bundesliga clash against Freiburg and, while acknowledging the hole that will be left in the Bavarians' squad following their retirement, the Italian coach was keen to emphasise the strengths of his other players.

"To replace Lahm and Alonso is impossible, because of the quality, the experience, the personality," Ancelotti said. 

"But we have other players who can continue this way like [Manuel] Neuer, [Thomas] Muller, [David] Alaba.

"We have a squad with fantastic experienced player and strong personalities.

"To replace them with their specific technical quality is really difficult; to find a right back like Lahm and a midfielder like Alonso."

As well as placing a burden of responsibility on the likes of Neuer, Muller and Alaba, one player who has been tipped to step up is Kimmich.

The 22-year-old, who joined the Bundesliga giants from Stuttgart in 2015, has scored five goals in 24 league appearances this season.

"As a right back the natural substitute [to Lahm] is Kimmich," said Ancelotti. 

"He has a really big future here and I am sure he'll be a fantastic right back."

Bayern host Freiburg at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, May 20.

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