Kim Min-jae 'just enough' to meet expectations at Bayern: Thomas Tuchel

Kim Min-Jae of Bayern Muenchen reacts during the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and FC Bayern München at Europa-Park Stadion on March 01, 2024 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

Kim Min-jae’s work on the pitch during his first year in Germany has been “just enough,” according to Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel, who had a mixed analysis for the defender he fought to bring over from Italy — while his own exit looms.


Tuchel's comments came after the club’s 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg on Sunday, their final home game of the season.


Kim, who started as center back, played 75 minutes of the game at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany before an injury from a collision forced a substitution, Matthijs de Ligt replacing him.


A medical check determined Kim sustained a minor injury to his left foot, according to the German media outlet Bild as translated by Bayern update account iMiaSanMia.


“Overall, I would say that my analysis is pretty similar. It’s not overly positive, it’s not overly negative, it’s about 50-50,” Tuchel said during a post-match conference on Sunday, according to the FC Bayern translation. “It’s just enough to meet the expectations here at Bayern.”


Tuchel, who in February announced he would resign following the end of the Bundesliga season — the club's first trophyless campaign in a dozen years — had pressed to get the 27-year-old defender from Serie A club Napoli after Kim helped lead them to their first league title in over 30 years.


But his attitude toward Kim seemed to turn in the middle of the season, Kim seeing less time on the pitch. While Kim had started 14 straight games in the 2023-24 Bundesliga season, clocking 90 minutes for 12 games before leaving for national team duty halfway through, he's done that five times in 13 games since February.


"[H]e was completely reliable up until he went to the Asian Cup in January, he completely saved us throughout the season because he was the only player that really played every single game and didn’t take any breaks or didn’t need any breaks either," Tuchel said.


Although Tuchel rehashed Kim's mistakes in the club's first UEFA Champions League semifinal meeting with Real Madrid, he also had praise for Kim, who has four years left with Bayern on a five-year deal worth a reported $56 million.

"[I]n terms of the way he presents himself, his personality, it’s a very, very positive assessment, albeit there are a few setbacks in the mix as well. 

But that happens in the best careers at this level. But overall, I’m very positive when it comes to my analysis of Min-jae Kim, and I’m very happy he’s here, and I think Bayern can count themselves as very lucky because he’s a top player with a top mentality.”


Bayern next face Hoffenheim at PreZero Arena in Sinsheim, Germany on Saturday for the final match of the season. Kim is likely to join the Korean national team for two 2026 World Cup qualifiers, against Singapore and China, in June.

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