The start to the Bundesliga campaign has been solid for Bayern Munich. They are scoring a lot of goals, but the most impressive part has been their improvement in defense. After showing defensive frailties against RB Leipzig in the DFL Supercup few weeks ago, Bayern has conceded two goals in three Bundesliga games.
Thomas Tuchel has decided to start the campaign with the center-back pairing of Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae. Both center-backs have done a good job until now, which has made sure that Matthijs de Ligt had to be content with chances from the bench.
The Dutch defender was a regular member of the starting XI at Bayern last season. He has endured a slow start to the campaign. Bild has reported that the Dutch defender is not yet concerned with the current situation as he calmly waits for his chance to stake a claim for the starting spot.
De Ligt completed the first 90 minutes of the season on Sunday when the Netherlands clinched a 2-1 win against Ireland. While talking to VI after the game (via iMiaSanMia), De Ligt insisted that he is happy with the competition in the center-back position at Bayern. The Dutch defender is looking forward to getting game time when Die Roten plays two games a week.
"“All three of us are monsters. Kim was the best defender in Serie A last season, Upamecano plays for the French national team, I played almost all games last season and had a good year with the Dutch team. There’s a lot of competition and that’s just great.”“There are many important matches coming up, therefore I’m happy I got 90 minutes in my legs.”"
The Dutch international also revealed that he has been nursing a calf injury. He is now close to getting back in full rhythm, so there is nothing to worry for Bayern. Since he was carrying an injury, a slow start to the campaign was a blessing in disguise for him to ease back into the action.
De Ligt will eventually get a lot of playing time since Bayern currently have only three senior center-backs in the squad. The Dutch defender will most likely start in next week’s Champions League game against Manchester United.
Along with playing in central defense, De Ligt may also have to fill in the defensive midfield position for Tuchel. The German coach brought De Ligt on against Borussia Monchengladbach to play in the center of the park. The Bavarian club lacks numbers in the midfield after the failed move for Joao Palhinha on deadline day and the departure of Ryan Gravenberch.
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De Ligt will return to Sabner Strasse early this week to prepare for Bayern’s clash against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday. It will be an exciting clash between the two in-form teams. A victory on Friday will help Die Roten clinch the top spot after four gameweeks.