Bayern Munich squad preview 2023-24: Defense

Bayern Munich squad during presentation at Allianz Arena. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Bayern Munich squad during presentation at Allianz Arena. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Bayern Munich have a solid group of central defenders for next season.
Bayern Munich have a solid group of central defenders for next season. (Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Central defense

Lucas Hernandez’s request to move to PSG during the current transfer window was greeted with both surprise and disappointment. However, now that the often-injured defender has departed, his departure may very well be a blessing in disguise.

Bayern was able to sign 26-year-old, South Korean center-back, Kim Min-jae as Hernandez’s replacement, from Napoli, by triggering his release clause of €50 million.  When one considers that Min-jae won both the Scudetto and the Serie A award for best defender at the end of the 2022/23 season then his acquisition can be viewed as a major coup.

In a perfect world, since Hernandez was Bayern’s only first-team left-footed center-back, Kim would have been left-footed even though he appears to be quite comfortable using his left foot when needed.

Matthijs de Light, at 23, has already been heralded by various pundits as one of the best defenders in the world. The 2018 Golden Boy winner had a good overall debut season for Bayern and would be looking to build on last season. A combination of Kim and de Ligt at the heart of the defense would be a formidable barrier for opposing teams to break down.

Waiting in the wings to step in for either of the aforementioned should be Dayot Upemecano. Since his debut for Bayern on the opening day of the 2021/22 season Upemecano has yet to cement his place as a regular starter mainly due to some up-and-down performances.

During the 2022/23 Champions League, for example, he was brilliant against PSG and compatriot Kylian Mbappe but was subsequently a major disappointment against Manchester City as misplaced passes and poor positioning highlighted his performance.

Next. Malik Tillman closing on a move to PSV Eindhoven. dark

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Upemecano, having not yet turned 25, would be hoping to find more consistency in the upcoming season, while tapping into his seemingly yet unfulfilled potential, in hopes of once again challenging for a starting berth.

If there are no further defensive transfers, in or out, during the remainder of the current transfer window then the versatile Stanisic should provide extra cover in central defense.