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Introducing Min-jae Kim: The New Bayern Munich Defender
- Updated: August 4, 2023
Highly sought after by renowned European clubs, including interest from Jose Mourinho, Min-jae Kim has joined Bayern Munich as one of football’s most coveted central defenders. The South Korea international has made a significant impact during his short yet impressive one-season stint at Napoli.
Signing a five-year deal with Bayern, Kim played a pivotal role in Napoli’s successful Serie A campaign in 2022/23, where they secured their first league title since 1989/90. Standing at 6’2″, Kim showcased his defensive prowess by featuring in 35 of 38 Serie A fixtures. He excelled in challenges, winning 63 percent of them, and was only dribbled past five times, making him one of the best in Serie A among players who played at least 24 games. Additionally, Kim boasted an impressive pass completion rate of 91 percent across all competitions. His proficiency in forward passes was unrivaled in Europe’s top five leagues, with a remarkable 1,057 forward passes in 2022/23, and he ranked third for most passes reaching their target (2,547).
Kim’s talent extends beyond his time at Napoli. Prior to his stint in Italy, he made notable appearances for former club Fenerbahce in the Europa and Europa Conference Leagues during the 2021/22 season. Earlier in his career, he secured two K-League titles with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and represented South Korea at the U23 level, winning Asian Games Gold. He also proudly wore the national team jersey at the 2022 World Cup.
Comparable to the renowned Dutch defender Jaap Stam, Kim has earned the nickname “the Monster” in Napoli circles due to his robust tackling style. However, he offers much more to the game than just defensive strength. Kim possesses exceptional positional awareness, is comfortable in possession, and exhibits impressive speed on the field. The young defender’s skillset and potential draw parallels to Jaap Stam, who played a significant role in Manchester United’s triumph over Bayern in the 1998/99 Champions League final.
As Kim embarks on this new chapter with Bayern Munich, the football world awaits eagerly to witness his continued growth and impact on the pitch.