Bayern Munich have been very unfortunate with injuries in defense this season. They have only three options in central defense, which has made life difficult for Thomas Tuchel during Hinrunde. Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano have been out for lengthy spells with injuries, which has made sure that Bayern had only two fit central defenders for several games.
De Ligt is currently on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury. The Dutch international suffered this injury during the DFB Pokal game against Saarbrucken at the start of November. He is expected to be out for the rest of the year, but Die Roten have provided a positive update on Monday regarding his recovery.
As per Bayern’s announcement on Monday morning, Matthijs de Ligt has started running on the pitch for the first time since suffering the knee injury. The Bavarian club will hope that he continues to take big strides in the recovery process and returns to action sooner rather than later.
Matthijs De Ligt is still hopeful about returning before the winter break. While talking to Sky Sports during the international break, the Dutch defender revealed that he is targeting the game against Wolfsburg on December 21 to make his return.
Thomas Tuchel currently has to stick with Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae for the remaining games of Hinrunde. The German coach should look to rest the South Korean defender against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday since the top spot in the group is already confirmed. Min-jae has played almost every competitive game since arriving at Bayern in the summer.
Matthijs de Ligt will be fit for the start of Ruckrunde. Despite his return to action, Bayern should look to sign a new defender in January. Kim Min-jae will not be available for selection in January since he will be playing for South Korea in the Asian Cup. Even if he was available for selection, Die Roten should have four center-backs to compete across all fronts.
In an ideal scenario, Bayern should look to sign a versatile defender who can play as a right-back and central defender. Benjamin Pavard provided cover in both areas for the last four seasons. His departure in the summer was a major blow. The Bavarian club needs to find the perfect replacement for Pavard to strengthen the squad.
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Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu has emerged as a target for Bayern, but the English club doesn’t want to sell him in January. Manchester United’s Raphael Varane has also been linked with Die Roten. The French defender is past his best and an expensive option, which effectively rules him out from joining Bayern. It will be intriguing to see what other defenders Die Roten look to sign in January since top-quality versatile defender are a rare profile in the current transfer market.