Bayern Munich are coming off an impressive 4-3 win in their opening Champions League game against Manchester United, and currently sit on the same points as league leaders Bayer Leverkusen. Still, for one player, all is not well.
Although goalkeeper Sven Ulreich was unhappy with the defending in the game, Bayern’s new defensive partnership of Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae seems to be improving every week. Bayern have conceded just four goals in four games in the Bundesliga so far this season, if they can continue that kind of form then breaking up that partnership will become increasingly difficult.
Upamecano hasn’t always shown the talent that we all know he possesses, but he was outstanding against United with his pace and power combining well to negate the attacking intent of the English team. While they conceded some sloppy goals, Upamecano largely controlled the game from the back.
Kim Min-jae started a little slower than we anticipated, but he’s improved every week and he now looks comfortable on the left side of that center-back partnership, and we have to remember that he’s adapting to a new country having arrived from Napoli during the summer transfer window.
Where does this all leave Dutch star Matthijs de Ligt?
According to a report in BILD this morning, Matthijs de Ligt is cutting a more frustrated figure and stormed out of the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night without stopping to comment on the game. Although de Ligt has been used as a substitute in the Bundesliga, he remained on the bench against Manchester United as Bayern tried to see the game out.
Unfortunately for de Ligt, it seems as though only an injury to one of the starters will guarantee him real minutes. Having only played 36 minutes over four Bundesliga games, it’s easy to understand the frustration.
Matthijs de Ligt arrived from Juventus in a €67 million deal to a lot of fanfare, and he was counted on during last year’s title-winning campaign. He was a mainstay in the starting XI last season, making 43 appearances across all competitions.
Unfortunately for him, his pre-season was derailed by an injury and an underwhelming performance in the DFL Supercup against RB Leipzig saw him substituted after Leipzig went 3-0 up.
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Many Bayern fans believed that South Korean Kim Min-jae was being brought in to partner de Ligt to create one of the best young center-back pairings in European football, but the performances of Upamecano have made him undroppable.
For Matthijs de Ligt that means being patient, and while we can all understand his hunger to play, it’s a long season and a lot can happen.