Bayern Munich has been consistently adding young center-backs to the squad over the five summer transfer windows. The Bavarian club had a good core of central defenders at the start of the summer, but they were forced to dip into the market when Lucas Hernandez requested a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Bayern got €50 million for Hernandez from PSG. They quickly reinvested that amount to sign a replacement. Napoli’s Kim Min-jae was the desired top target to replace the French defender. The South Korean defender made his first appearance for Bayern against Kawasaki Frontale on Saturday.
It does look like Matthijs de Ligt and Kim Min-jae are likely to start as a center-back pairing for the first competitive game of the season. De Ligt had a fairly good debut season at Bayern, which makes him an automatic starter for Die Roten at the start of the season.
The Dutch defender arrived in Bavaria last summer for a significant fee from Juventus. Bayern wanted to sign him in 2019 from Ajax, but Juventus won the battle for his signature. After a steady debut season, Matthijs de Ligt is eyeing more success with Die Roten next season. While talking to Sport1 this week, the Dutch defender insisted that he wants to become a much bigger threat from set pieces for Bayern.
"“There are always things to work on – as a defender, mainly on defending, but I also aim to score more goals from set pieces, for example. I think I need to do more with my heading.”"
Despite having a good individual campaign, De Ligt is not rating last season highly since Bayern managed to win only one trophy. The former Ajax defender is hoping for a collective improvement from the team and challenge for all titles next season.
Bayern struggled for consistency last season in all competitions. They managed to retain the Bundesliga title in the most dramatic manner, but it was an unsatisfactory season by the club’s lofty standards. Matthijs de Ligt and other players will look to get things right next campaign as they kick off the season with DFL Supercup clash against RB Leipzig in a fortnight.
De Ligt is also pleased with the signing of Kim Min-jae. The Dutch defender believes that the former Napoli center-back will add more quality and depth to the central defense that will help Bayern to compete on all fronts. For now, Thomas Tuchel has four options in central defense- De Ligt, Min-jae, Dayot Upamecano, and Benjamin Pavard.
Bayern is looking to improve their options in defense by signing Kyle Walker from Manchester City. The Bavarian club is negotiating with the English after verbally agreeing a deal with Walker. Meanwhile, Pavard may end up leaving Die Roten as he entered the final 12 months of his contract.