There is no disputing that Joshua Kimmich is an absolute PB machine. But, how good is he? And, how has he already managed to earn £0.50 in Match Day dividends since the start of the season?
Since the new PB matrix was introduced for the 2019/2020 season, Kimmich has played a total of 31 games with his position on Football Index as 'Defender' and 20 games with his position on Football Index as 'Midfielder'.
Kimmich as a 'Midfielder'
I have put Midfielder in inverted commas here because even when down as a midfielder on Football Index, he has not always actually played in Midfield. For example, towards the end of last season's Champions League, Kimmich played a few games at right-back in Pavards absence. Conversely, when Kimmich was positioned as 'Defender' on Football Index, he would often play in Midfield.
As we can see below, since the start of the 2019/2020 season (Under the new PB Matrix), Kimmich has placed 1st in 40% of his 20 matches as a midfielder.
Furthermore, he has placed within the top 5 Match Day rankings, 85% of the time. This shows how unbelievably consistent he has been in hitting high PB scores since the return of the Bundesliga in May 2020.
Since Kimmich has been down as a midfielder on Football Index, Bayern Munich have consistently lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Where-as when Kimmich's position on Football Index was defender, Bayern Munich only lined up in the 4-2-3-1 formation 64.51% of the time. Having settled into being Bayern Munich's permanent manager, Hansi Flick found the 4-2-3-1 formation to work best and has used this formation in the last 23 Bayern Munich games. This may have contributed to Kimmich's improvement and more importantly his consistency.
Kimmich as a 'Defender'
As we can see below, when positioned as Defender on Football Index, Kimmich only placed within the top 5 rankings 61% of the time. However, what is certainly worth pointing out here is that 5/7 of his highest PB scores were in games when he was positioned as a defender.
Kimmich has been positioned as a Midfielder since the return of the Bundesliga in May 2020 and what we can understand from the data is that although his peak PB scores have not been so high, he has been much more consistent and has ranked higher in the Match Day rankings. This may be due to a number of factors, including a lack of recent competition in midfield.
Midfielder's Gold Match Day Dividend winning score
Joshua Kimmich has taken top midfielder in 5% of all Gold Match Days since the start of the 2019-2020 season. All 5 of these wins have come in just the last 3 months.
Kimmich's average Gold Match Day dividend winning score has been just 216.2. As can be seen below, this is a relatively low PB score compared to the average score needed to win top Midfielder on a Gold Match Day.
The average score needed by a Midfielder to win top Midfielder on a Gold Match Day is 250.62. Kimmich's peak PB score as a Midfielder is actually only 252, but it is his consistency in hitting scores over 200 which leads to his many Gold Match Day Dividend winning scores.
It is also worth pointing out that 4 of these Gold Match Day Dividend wins were in the Champions League where he has competed with a smaller pool of players.
Midfielder's Silver Match Day Dividend Winning Scores
Kimmich has a stronger chance of earning Match Day dividends on Silver Match Days. The average PB score needed to win on a Silver Match Day is 230.45. Although Kimmich has only hit a PB score higher than this in 2 of his games as a Midfielder, he often hits PB scores around 200.
As can be seen below, PB scores around 200 will quite frequently be high enough to earn dividends on a Silver Match Day.
Midfielder's Bronze Match Day Dividend Winning Scores
The average PB score needed to win on a Bronze Match Day is only 201.33.
Kimmich has hit a PB score over 201.33 65% of the time since being positioned as a Midfielder. Therefore, he is very likely to earn Match Day Dividends on Bronze Match Days. Again, it is Kimmich's consistency in hitting high scores which leads to him having such a strong chance of earning dividends.
Kimmich PB average
In games where Kimmich has started as Midfielder, he has a PB average of 202.62 and he has been only been on the bench in 1 game since being positioned as Midfielder on Football Index.
Furthermore, as can be seen below, 15 of his 20 PB scores have been over 190 with the majority over 200.
When looking at Kimmich's PB scores below and then comparing this to the Match Day scores needed to earn Match Day Dividends, it becomes clear as to how Kimmich has been able to mop up dividends so regularly lately.
However, he has been overperforming in terms of earning Match Day Dividends on Gold Match Days in recent months. This was largely due to Bayern's Champions League win, but also because Kimmich's PB scores have improved in recent months.
Improvement in Kimmich's PB scores
The below graphic from Index Edge does not adjust scores for the 1.25 Multiplier that was applied in the Champions League. Any PB score over 252 had the multiplier applied. What's most significant about this graphic is that it shows how Kimmich's PB scores have improved over time.
In addition to Bayern's consistent formation, Kimmich's confidence under Kovac and his consistency in taking set-pieces, Kimmich's PB scores may have improved even further recently due to the departure of Thiago.
Before moving to Liverpool, Kimmich competed to get on the ball with Thiago. Although Kimmich also played very well last season and earned Match Day Dividends a number of times alongside Thiago or when playing at right-back, Thiago was often seeking space to get on the ball. Without the energetic presence of Thiago, Kimmich is getting on the ball even more frequently.
Kimmich is now getting on the ball further forward in midfield and has become even more creative and so is suiting the PB matrix even more.
How does Kimmich hit such high scores so consistently?
If I was to use one word to explain how Kimmich hits such high PB scores it would be involvement. The PB matrix loves players who have a huge impact on games and although Kimmich may not stand-out as much as players like Messi and Neymar, he is certainly very involved.
Involvement in the creation of chances is rewarded massively on Football Index and so it is no surprise that with 2.6 key passes and 6 attempted crosses per game that Kimmich scores highly. Most importantly, Kimmich completes a very high 68.3 passes per game which helps him build the foundation for high PB scores.
When you then throw regular wins and goal contributions into the mixer, Kimmich is able to build very high PB scores.
The below graphic from IcebergIndex shows how over half of Kimmich's PB score is built upon his passing, crossing and team win. In this example, he also scored the GWG and this led to him hitting his peak PB score of 252. Even without the GWG, he would have hit a fairly strong PB score of 215 (172 without multiplier).
But, with Kimmich's creativity and set-piece ability, he is likely to contribute to goals in many games especially due to playing for Bayern Munich who have averaged a crazy 4 goals per game so far this season!
Kimmich has benefited in recent months by not having to compete with many other high PB scoring midfielders. Below are a few examples of midfielders that earned dividends last season but have not been able to compete so strongly this season for a range of reasons.
Angel Di Maria *Suspended
Dimitri Payet *Suspended
Radja Nainggolan *Lacking minutes at Inter
Marcel Sabitzer *Lacking minutes
Josip Illicic *Returning to full fitness now (Lacking minutes lately)
Filip Kostic *Injured
Aleksandr Golovin *Injured
Luis Alberto *Corona virus
Thiago Alcantara *Corona Virus/Injury
Wylan Cyprien *No longer on penalties due to loan move to Parma
Daniel Parejo *No longer on penalties due to transfer to Villareal
Ever Banega *No longer in a PB league
This doesn't take anything away from Kimmich's improvement, but with stronger competition for top midfield, it is unlikely that Kimmich would have been able to rank so highly in the Match Day Rankings so frequently in recent months.
To reinforce how there has been a lack of competition for top Midfielder in recent months, below are the changes in the average PB scores needed to earn Match Day Dividends since Kimmich was changed to Midfielder on Football Index.
Before Kimmich's positional change to Midfielder on Football Index
The average score needed to earn dividends on given Match Day
Bronze - 206.40
Silver - 243.86
Gold - 261.98
Following Kimmich's positional change to Midfielder on Football Index
The average score needed to earn dividends on given Match Day
Bronze - 194.80
Silver - 212.74
Gold - 238.30
In this time the PB matrix has stayed the same. One thing that may have contributed to the difference is that Football Index did change the threshold for how many teams needed to play to qualify for the different Match Days and also made the later stages of the European Tournaments Gold Days.
Such changes have also benefited Joshua Kimmich because he consistently hits PB scores between 190-240.
Kimmich is undisputably a quality player who will return a huge amount in Match Day dividends over the upcoming seasons. However, it is certainly worth being aware of how he has actually been able to earn dividends so frequently recently.
Team of The Month Dividends are also massively beneficial for Kimmich but can a player without any media presence ever become king of the index? I am not sure they can.
Longer-term, it is likely that Kimmich's success in terms of earning match day dividends will largely depend on whether some better midfield competition comes along. Whilst scores between 194.8 - 238.30 are required to earn dividends on Bronze - Gold Match Days, Kimmich will most likely continue to earn dividends very regularly.
Just like a Kimmich cross, today's blog and data has been assisted by Index Edge.