Napoli have lost their ‘monster defender’ Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) and are already feeling his absence. Not only because of his monstrous defense, but also because of the “Kim Min-jae effect” that his teammates have experienced. The timing of the announcement is even more remarkable as the Italian Serie A season is only three rounds old.
Italy’s Naples Magazine reported on June 6 (KST), “Francesco De Core, a reporter from Ilmatino, said, ‘I miss Kim Min-jae a lot. Amir Rahmani was also stronger when he was with Kim Min-jae,'” the magazine reported, citing a local interview with De Core.
According to the report, De Kore said, “I can feel the void of Kim Min-jae. It’s not just because of the power he showed, but also because his teammates performed well when he was on the field. Rahmani, for example, was a player who grew in value thanks to Kim’s performance.”
It’s not just Kim’s defensive prowess that will be missed, as he anchored Napoli’s defense last season, but also his presence, as he helped his teammates perform well. In fact, last season, Kim started 35 games in the league alone, anchoring the Napoli defense. This was by far the most of any center back. His partner was mostly Rahmani. The local analysis is that Kim’s presence last season had a positive effect on other players, including Rahmani.
Since the departure of Kim Min-jae, Napoli’s defense has been manned by Rahmani and last season’s backup defender, João Jezús. Natang, a summer signing, is yet to make his debut. Napoli are sixth in the league with two wins and one loss in their opening three games, but have conceded three goals in three games, most recently in a 1-2 home loss to Lazio. The trend is reminiscent of last season, when Kim Min-jae and company went unbeaten in their opening 15 games.
With a number of key players from last season, such as Victor Osimhen and Hvitsa Kvarachelia, staying on, Kim was the only one who actually left the team, and the lack of stability in the defense that he left behind makes him even more missed. The same is true for Rahmani, who had the so-called “Kim Min-jae effect” in the defense, but has been slumping since his departure.
In fact, it’s not just Napoli that misses Kim Min-jae. Fans of Napoli’s former club, Turkkiye Fenerbahçe, often leave messages on Kim Min-jae’s social media (SNS) saying that they miss him. Local media outlets in Turkiye are also very interested in Kim Min-jae, often reporting on his news even after he left. Kim joined Fenerbahçe from Beijing Guoan in 2021 and has been a key player for the club since, making 31 league appearances. 먹튀검증
He played only one season each at Fenerbahce and Napoli, but his quality was enough to make him a favorite of both clubs and fans. In the summer transfer window, he joined world-class club Bayern Munich for a new challenge. His move from his hometown club Napoli brought in a record transfer fee of €50 million ($71.6 billion). After earning a starting spot in the opening round of the German Bundesliga, Kim gradually increased his playing time and even played full-time in the last three rounds. His club, Bayern Munich, is in second place after three straight wins to open the season and has the league’s fewest conceded goals with two in three games.