Wimmer – a Q&A with an FC Köln supporter
Firstly, thank you for offering to share your thoughts and knowledge on Kevin Wimmer. What has been the general feeling from FC Köln fans during his time as a player at your club?
He came into the club as an unknown quantity from LASK Linz in Austria and struggled to become truly established initially. It wasn’t until new coach Peter Stoeger (also Austrian) arrived at the club in the Summer of 2013 that Wimmer made a true impact and since then he has been like a rock in the back four alongside Slovenian Dominic Maroh. He was a huge part of us gaining promotion in 2014 and consolidating our Bundesliga place last season. The club had the fifth best defensive record in the division which, for a promoted club, was excellent.
He is best known as a central defender, but has he played in other positions for FC Köln?
If I’m honest I can’t recall Kevin being played ‘out’ of position in the last couple of seasons. I would view him as a pure defender and as such would like to see him concentrate on that role. I do believe, however, that he played as a midfielder earlier in his career at youth level.
What are his main strengths?
He is well-built to be a central defender and his solid, no-nonsense approach makes him a pure player in this role. You won’t see Wimmer messing about with the football at the back. He also has decent pace which we all know for a player in the Premier League will be vitally important.
Does he have any weaknesses which he still needs to develop?
For me he isn’t the best footballer technically but, as I have said previously, he is a no-nonsense defender. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t expect him to just ‘hoof’ the ball out at every opportunity, but you will see few risks taken.
How does he compare to better known central defenders in the Bundesliga, such as Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich, Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund and Naldo of Wolfsburg? Do you feel that he has the potential to get to that sort of level?
I would say that of the names mentioned, Hummels would make the best comparison with Wimmer. I am confident that he will become a great player in years to come; I just hope he gets off to a good start in the Premier League as, from experience, it can be an unforgiving place to play football.
Are there other central defenders who Tottenham Hotspur fans may be familiar with who compare to Kevin Wimmer?
From established defenders it is very difficult to make comparisons at the moment. A similair-styled up and coming player is Kurt Zouma at Chelsea.
It is often said that it takes time for overseas players to adapt to the Premier League. From your knowledge of this league, do you think he is ready?
Yes, he is ready for action without doubt, but the Premier League by experience can be like a shark tank and the fans can be quite unforgiving early in a player’s career. That is my main concern for Wimmer moving to England, although I do believe he will perform very well.
Are FC Köln fans surprised that he has joined a club such as Tottenham? Would you feel he could have gone to a ‘bigger’ club, or is the level of Tottenham Hotspur well suited?
If he had moved to another club in Germany it would have been one of the top six clubs that would have shown an interest. I think Europa League level is about right. The majority of fans are pleased to see him progress and it shows the good work that has gone in at Cologne in the past few years that our players are attracting attention from clubs in the CL and EL.
Thanks very much to @effzehUK for the insight, and Paul for conducting this interview.