National coach Hansi Flick made a decisive change in the German national soccer team by transferring Bayern professional Joshua Kimmich to the right side of defense in the first international match of the European Championship season.

In addition, Dortmund’s Niklas Süle will return to the starting eleven straight away after being left out of the first five games of this year in Wolfsburg against Japan. Flick announced this before the final training.

Flick did not explicitly confirm Kimmich’s use at right back on Friday at the DFB press conference in Wolfsburg. But all statements clearly indicated this. The 28-year-old from Munich is “a very important player” for the DFB selection who can be valuable for the team in several positions, explained Flick. Kimmich had always played in midfield under Flick, with the exception of the last World Cup game in Qatar against Costa Rica.

Süle is preferred over Thiaw

“Jo is an absolute professional and team player. He puts himself at the service of the team,” said Flick about Kimmich’s acceptance of the move to the right. “Our job as coaches is to position him where he can give the team even more.”

In the center of defense, Süle is preferred over the young Malick Thiaw from AC Milan, who was a bright spot in the June internationals as a newcomer. “We are pleased with the development at Malick,” said the national coach. But Süle will play in the center of defense against the Japanese.

After four international matches without a win in a row, new captain Ilkay Gündogan urgently needs a successful start to the European Championship season against Japan and three days later against France in Dortmund. “These are two unpleasant games,” said Gündogan. But “at the start of the hot phase of the EM year” it is now elementary to play good games and achieve positive results. The Wolfsburg stadium is sold out. At the botched World Cup in Qatar, the German team lost 2-1 to Japan.