While many fans have praised new Bayern Munich defender Kim Min-jae, not everyone has been thoroughly impressed by the former Napoli center-back.
For one, Lothar Matthäus has not been overly thrilled with the South Korean’s performances so far this season.
“Kim is not yet as ready as we had hoped. He’s an insecurity factor at FC Bayern. He first has to get used to the Bundesliga. Nothing against the player, but he has not yet lived up to the expectations I expected from him based on the praise he got in Italy,” Matthäus told Sky90 (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
The Bayern Munich backline — as a whole — has not been consistently great this season, often suffering through lapses powered by poor positioning and sometimes poor decision-making. Overall, though, the collective performance of the group has not given anyone a reason to hit the panic button just yet.
Some of the issues stem from Manuel Neuer’s injury, as the goalkeeper plays a key role in organizing the backline and also allows the the group to function a little differently because of his unique style of play.
However, Neuer’s absences should not be used as a crutch for subpar individual efforts. At varying points so far this season, each of Thomas Tuchel’s preferred starting defenders — Min-jae, Dayot Upamecano, Alphonso Davies, and Konrad Laimer — have had less-than-stellar performances.
Perhaps, Matthijs de Ligt and Noussair Mazraoui can help provide more balance to the backline at some point, but — to date — Tuchel appears to have other ideas about where those two players fall in his pecking order.