According to a repot by Tz, Matthijs de Ligt faces an uphill battle to regain his starting spot at Bayern Munich. Thomas Tuchel is not a fan of the Dutchman, being critical of his buildup play — too slow, too many sideways passes, and not enough vertical through balls. Both Dayot Upamecano and new signing Kim Min-Jae are therefore ahead of De Ligt in the pecking order.
This explains why De Ligt has not started a single game in the campaign so far, despite being in training for the last couple of weeks and playing 90 minutes for the Netherlands over the course of the break. Of course, part of it also has to do with the calf injury the player sustained during the break at the end of last season — he missed much of the preseason while working on his recovery, and might not still be fully fit.
The report mentions that De Ligt knows what he needs to work on to get back in the coach’s good graces, and the Dutchman is perhaps due a lucky break — the way the international break schedule has worked out, he could end up starting against Bayer Leverkusen. Kim Min-jae had far less time to rest compared to the Dutchman, and Dayot Upamecano missed the France game due to undisclosed issues. This could be a huge chance for him to get back in the coach’s good graces.
Given that Leon Goretzka was also in a similar position not too long ago, and worked his way back into the starting XI, there’s hope for De Ligt here. Meanwhile, at the executive level, the Dutchman remains highly valued for his fighting spirit. He’s not going to get shipped out any time soon.
For now, it looks like Bayern Munich have a solid three-way battle at center-back brewing, with all three players satisfied with the way the competition is panning out. Fans will hope this encourages all three players to raise their game, rather than simmer with discontent over a lack of playing time. In the end, it’s up to Tuchel to balance the egos in the dressing room — a young, talented center-back like De Ligt can always be made to improve, but he needs to be managed carefully.