‘Iron Pillar’ Kim Min-jae (27, Naples) has to overcome obstacles again.
Kim Min-jae’s transfer to Manchester United is getting closer to reality. On the 21st (hereinafter Korean time), citing the report of ‘Il Martino’, a local newspaper in Naples, Italy, foreign media are pouring out articles about Kim Min-jae’s transfer to Manchester United.메이저놀이터
‘Il Martino’ said, “Man Utd has decided to sign a contract with Korean defender Kim Min-jae at the end of this season.” will earn 9 million euros (about 12.9 billion won) per season at Manchester United.”
He added, “Man Utd has found a villa in Alderley Edge, England, where Kim Min-jae will live.” Located in the Cheshire area near Manchester, England, Alderly Edge is where Park Ji-seong (42, retired), a former “Asian soccer star,” resided from 2005 to 2012. It is also a wealthy village where David Beckham and his wife lived, and is also where many star players such as Rio Ferdinand, Dwight York, and And Cole live. Above all, it is a 30-minute drive to Old Trafford (OT), the home ground of Manchester United. You can also get to Manchester Airport in 15 minutes and the Carrington training ground in 25 minutes.
Kim Min-jae’s whereabouts have been changing every year since two years ago. In 2021, he moved his nest from Guoan, Beijing to Fenerbahce, and from Fenerbahce to Naples in 2022. However, before wearing the Napoli uniform last year, Kim Min-jae had to overcome one obstacle. It was his ankle surgery. Kim Min-jae went on the operating table in Korea in early May of last year. He underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment moving around his ankle to get rid of the pain in his right ankle that started three years ago. Since the beginning of April of last year, the pain has been severe, and it has reached a situation where it is difficult to even wear soccer boots. Fortunately, the owner of Fenerbahçe, who said that player protection comes first, allowed Kim Min-jae to return to Korea at the end of last season to undergo ankle surgery.
Kim Min-jae put everything into his rehabilitation after his surgery. During his rehabilitation period, the transfer to Naples was confirmed, and Kim Min-jae calmly looked at only the league opening game against Verona on August 15 last year, without being excited. Afterwards, Kim Min-jae, who showed off his watertight defense in the opening game, continued to play an active role. He quickly occupied Serie A with his high passing success rate and defensive power in every game, and was evaluated as the best defender in Europe.
Even before the transfer to Manchester United, obstacles await. It is basic military training. Kim Min-jae, a gold medalist at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, received special military service benefits and was transferred to an arts and sports personnel. Athletes who have obtained arts and sports personnel qualifications must undergo basic military training for three weeks within one year after registration. Over the next 34 months, he will have to complete 544 hours of volunteer work while working in the sport. It is known that Kim Min-jae will enter the training center for basic military training around the middle of next month.
It is not bad from Kim Min-jae’s point of view to solve basic military training after 5 years of transfer as an arts and sports personnel. However, what is burdensome for him is building his body. If he doesn’t exercise for three weeks, it could take more than a month to get his body back to normal. He has no choice but to focus on building his body at the point where he has to compete for the pre-season starting position after moving to Manchester United.
On the other hand, position contender Lisandro Martinez, who has been recovering from ankle surgery, is expected to return to the ground on July 12 and be available from the pre-season match against Olympique Lyonnais on July 19. Rafael Baran is also expected to survive, so the psychological burden on Kim Min-jae, who has to break the solid center back line of the two, will inevitably increase.