It has been argued that there is tension between Matthijs the Licht and Thomas Tuchel.
“The Licht is an indispensable player in Bayern Munich right now. As Kim Min-jae has been drafted to the Asian Cup, The Licht will play as the mainstay until he returns. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that Tuchel is not a big fan of The Licht. There is a lot of tension between the two,” the German newspaper Bild reported on Wednesday.
“The Licht is one of the most popular players in his team due to his good personality and attitude. However, he is not 100 percent satisfied with his current team. If all the center back resources are available, The Licht is not classified as a key member of Tuchel’s Tuchel team,” said Florian Fletenberg of Germany’s Sky Sports.
“Additionally, Munich is still interested in Ronald Araujo. The Licht is not eligible for January’s transfer, but leaving in the summer has not been ruled out. If Erik ten Haach continues to lead Manchester United next season, negotiations for The Licht transfer could proceed,” he added.
The Licht is a Dutch center back who was born in 1999. A native of Ajax Youth Academy, he made his debut in the Dutch league at the tender age of 17 years, three months, and 15 days, drawing attention from the public. Soon after he became a starting member, he helped Ajax advance to the UEFA Champions League semifinals in the 2018-19 season.
Afterwards, he left Ajax in the summer of 2019 and wore a Juventus uniform. The transfer fee at that time was 75 million euros (about 108.9 billion won). It was a point to see how highly Juventus valued The Licht’s potential. At the beginning of the transfer, he had ups and downs adapting to a new team, but he soon established himself as a key center back.
After playing for Juventus for three seasons, he moved to Munich. Last season, he played 31 matches in the German Bundesliga and was the main center back. However, he clearly looks different from last season when looking at the first half of this season.
Munich recruited Kim Min-jae this summer. Kim Min-jae made his first steps to the European stage by moving to Fenerbahce ahead of the 2021-22 season. He also showed excellent performances and successfully advanced to the big league. His destination was Naples of the Italian Serie A team. At first, there was a questionable eye. Kim Min-jae was a substitute for Kalidou Koulibaly.
Coulibaly was a player who had long been in charge of Napoli’s defense and established himself as a top Serie A center back. He left for Chelsea to fill the gap, but there was inevitably a question mark because the target was Kim Min-jae, who had no big league experience.
However, Kim quickly proved his worth. He has been a mainstay of Napoli’s defense since the beginning of the season, and eventually won the title for the first time in 33 years after the 1989-90 season thanks to Kim’s strong defense. The Serie A secretariat even awarded Kim the “Best Defender” award to Kim, who showed outstanding performance in his debut season.
Naturally, Kim’s value skyrocketed. News spread that several big clubs showed interest. Then, he decided to go to Bayern Munich. Munich paid a 50 million euro (about 71.7 billion won) buyout to recruit Kim.
Initially, the expectation was that Kim Min-jae and The Licht would be used as the starting lineup. In fact, ahead of the opening of the season, the Bundesliga official website also placed Kim Min-jae and The Licht as the starting lineup for Munich’s best 11 this season.
However, the reality was different. The Licht started with Upamecano at the German Super Cup against RB Leipzig, which marked the beginning of the season. However, the team was shaken up by conceding two goals in the first half alone, and Tuchel excluded The Licht at the start of the second half and added Kim Min-jae. And the combination of Kim Min-jae and Upamecano has been operating steadily since the opening match of the Bundesliga.
“The Licht didn’t play many games. He had a lot of injury problems. He suffered from injuries during the pre-season, but spent most of the first half of the season with injuries. While gradually increasing his playing time, he suffered an additional injury in late September and left the game again in early November due to internal ligament damage for more than a month.
For this reason, Kim Min-jae and Upamecano played virtually every game without a break. The first-team center back resource was because the three players were Jeonbuk. Fortunately, The Licht is currently back from the injury, and Kim Min-jae is in the Asian Cup, so The Licht may have a chance in the future.
However, he has not established a stable position. Recently, Eric Dier joined the club. Dier left Sporting Lisbon in 2014 and joined Tottenham. Dier, whose strength was multi-talented center back, right-back, and defensive midfielder, played mostly in the third term in the early days of Mauricio Pochettino’s inauguration. Dier displayed his presence little by little as he moved back and forth between defensive midfielder and center back, and later he perfectly settled down as a center back.
He also played as a key player under Antonio Conte, a three-back coach. Upon taking the helm of Tottenham, Conte deployed players such as Christian Romero, Ben Davies and Davinson Sanchez to both sides with Dier, who boasts good foot skills, at the center.
His position was solid as well last season. Clement Langele joined the club on loan, but he was more of a Davis contender than Dyer. Conte wanted a left-footed center back that could be placed on the left side of the team. Dyer, along with Romero, played in 33 Premier League matches.
Things have changed this season, however. During the pre-season, Dyer said, “I am enjoying working under Coach Enze Postecoglou. It is a different style from the past, but it is fun to learn new soccer.” He expressed his expectations for Tottenham under the new coach system. However, it became a candidate resource as soon as the season opened.
Postecoglou replaced Romero with Mickey Van der Ben as the starting center back. The third option was Davis. Some argued that Dyer was not given a chance due to injury, but when Dyer was sitting on the bench, a combination of Davis and Emerson Royale was often activated. 헤라카지노주소
Naturally, the possibility of moving to January increased. It was a natural step as Dyer’s contract was originally scheduled to expire in June. As a result, Munich expressed interest again. Munich recruited Kim Min-jae ahead of this season, but started the season with a total of three first-team center backs, including Kim Min-jae, Matthijs the Licht and Dayo Upamecano.
With the player base not strong, The Licht will be absent for most of the first half due to injury. As a result, Kim Min-jae and Upamecano could not rest properly and had to play almost all of their schedules. This raised the need to reinforce the center back, and Dyer joined after a lot of rumors.
Munich officially announced on the club’s website on the 12th, “We have signed a contract with Dyer until June 30, 2024. It also includes a one-year extension option. Dyer will play in Munich with the number 15.”
Tottenham Hotspur also said, “We have agreed with Munich to sign Dyer on loan for the rest of the season. It also includes a full recruitment option.”
In addition, Munich and Tuchel are looking for new players to become defensive leaders. For this reason, Araujo of Barcelona is constantly being discussed. Araujo is a center back from Uruguay, born in 1999. After playing for Barcelona B team (second tier), he started calling up the first team from the 2019-20 season, and is currently playing as a key center back.
He has played in 13 matches in Spain’s La Liga so far. He was sidelined for about a month due to an injury early in the season, but has been lengthening his playing time recently. However, Araujo renewed his contract in April last year, extending his contract period until the summer of 2026. He has reportedly no intention of leaving his team during the season. It is highly likely that Munich will show interest again this summer.
In particular, Germany’s Sky Sports reported in the middle of last month that “Munich wanted to recruit Araujo during the January transfer market. However, there is no room for negotiations at the moment. They were willing to pay more than 60 million euros, and Tuchel and Christoph Freund, the team’s general manager, had a phone conversation with Araujo earlier this month.”
If Dier plays for Munich again next season and Araujo is recruited, the number of center backs will increase to five. For this reason, some argue that the possibility of The Licht transfer could occur at least this summer.