So far this season for Bayern Munich, Thomas Tuchel has been showing a preference to using Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae as the starting center-back pairing in defense. Lucas Hernandez left for Paris Saint-Germain during the summer transfer window and Matthijs de Ligt has been dealing with separate injury problems, the most recent of which was a knee injury he sustained during one of his rare starts of the season in Bayern’s 7-0 routing over VfL Bochum, a match in which he scored a header.
Bayern considering the possibility of signing free agent Jerome Boateng stirred up a great deal of controversy, but it highlighted Tuchel’s fear that depth could be running a little bit thin at the club in the center back spot. Even Kim Min-jae has been dealing with some injury problems, but he is the one mainstay in the back line for the foreseeable future, as Upamecano now faces several weeks on the sidelines with an injury problem of his own.
There is no need to worry, though, especially with how much Kim seems to be improving week in and week out for the Rekordmeister — a sentiment sporting director Christoph Freund recently echoed. He feels that the signing from SSC Napoli is genuinely growing into a valuable player for Bayern on the pitch, and an incredibly likeable personality off the pitch.
“He’s getting better and better. He’s a good guy who’s fully focused on his football, on training and on his work. We can count ourselves lucky to have him here in Munich,” Freund told kicker (as per @iMiaSanMia) of the South Korean international.
The center back had come under some criticism from former Bayern and Germany midfielder Lothar Matthäus, who had said he felt Kim was not living up to his own, personal expectations, but is in clear that, internally, there is a bit of a different feeling about the player than what Matthäus thinks. So far, he has contributed to Bayern recording a total of three clean sheets across all competitions.