Bayern Signs Korean Defender Kim Min-jae
Bayern Münich announced the signing of Korean defender Kim Min-jae on Tuesday. The Bavarian giants paid Serie A champions Napoli a fee of €50 million ($55 million) to secure his services. Kim has signed a five-year contract with the club that will run through 2028 and will wear the No. 3 jersey this season.
Kim Min-jae has just arrived at Bayern training ground — he’s set to be unveiled as new Bayern signing. 🔴🇰🇷— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 18, 2023
Release clause triggered 10 days ago, medical done in Korea and contract also signed.
Here we go, confirmed. ✔️
📸 @sportbild pic.twitter.com/xOxLmTYevQ
Kim was one of the most sought-after defenders after a brilliant debut season with Napoli. He helped Napoli claim its first Serie A title in over three decades, anchoring a Napoli backline that conceded only 28 goals in 38 league matches. Kim played in 35 of these 38 games, and thanks to his defensive contributions, was awarded as the Serie A’s best defender in the 2022-2023 season. He also contributed two goals.
“[Kim Min-jae] has developed extremely well, winning the Serie A title with Napoli last season and being voted the best defender in the league,” Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said. “He impresses with his physical presence, as well as his mentality and speed. We’re pleased he can immediately take part fully in pre-season and firmly believe that he will also excite our fans with his style of play.”
Kim’s move to Bayern is the next step in his incredible rise. The 26-year-old began his professional career with Gyeongju KHNP and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the K-League. He then moved over to Chinese Super League team Beijing Guoan in 2019 and spent a few seasons with the club.
He finally moved to Europe in 2021 when he signed with Turkish club Fenerbahçe. After an impressive debut season in Turkey, Napoli quickly snapped him up for $20 million. He continued his excellent form in Italy, and after winning Serie A with Napoli, Kim is now moving to Bayern Münich.
“FC Bayern is a dream for every footballer. I’m really looking forward to what’s to come in Munich,” Kim said about his move to Bayern. “It’s a new beginning for me. I’ll continue to develop here. In discussions with the club, it was made clear to me from the start how interested they are in me. My first goal is to play a lot of games. In addition, I want to win as many trophies as possible.”
This is a great signing for Bayern. Nicknamed “The Monster,” Kim is an incredibly physical center-back. At 6-foot-3, he is dominant in aerial challenges. He is a physical enforcer, someone who can dominate opposition players off of the ball and is also incredibly fast, allowing him to keep up with quick attackers.
It is not just his defensive ability that is impressive, however. Kim is also an elite ball-playing center-back. He is known for his composure when being pressed by the opposition’s attacking players. He has a very good passing range, one that you would expect a modern ball-playing center-back to have. This, combined with his physical attributes, makes him one of the best defenders in the world.
Expect Kim Min-jae to be paired with fellow center-back Matthijs de Ligt next season.
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