Why Tottenham should go back in the market for Kim Min-Jae

Back in September, a report from 90min (h/t Football.London) had mentioned Tottenham among the potential suitors for South Korean defender Kim Min-Jae. Premier League rivals Leicester City and Italian outfit Lazio were also understood to be in the market for the Beijing Guoan centre-back but he eventually ended up staying put in China.


Kim Min-Jae started his career with Gyeongju KHNP in the lower divisions in Korea before establishing himself as a top-flight player following his move to Jeonbuk Motors in 2017. Chinese Super League outfit Beijing Guoan came calling for his services in 2019. The 24-year-old has carved out a reputation for himself as one of the best centre-backs in the Far East.

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Beijing Guoan’s Kim Min-jae (left) during the AFC Champions League match against Japan’s Urawa Reds in may last year. (Getty Images)

The towering defender has earned 30 caps for South Korea at the senior level, representing his nation at 2018 Asian Games and 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Kim would add more depth to Tottenham’s backline

Tottenham roped in highly-rated Welsh international Joe Rodon from Swansea City to bolster their centre-back ranks before the domestic deadline. The youngster helped the Lilywhites to a clean sheet in a goalless draw against Chelsea in his first start in the Premier League last week, having previously played cameos off the bench against Burnley and Man City.

Rodon’s arrival has undoubtedly boosted the club’s depth at the heart of the defence following the departure of veteran Jan Vertonghen in the summer. With Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier and youngster Japhet Tanganga also competing for places, Mourinho seems to have plenty of options available at his disposal to rotate his squad.

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Lebanon’s midfielder Bassel Jradi (L) vies for the ball with South Korea’s defender Kim Min-jae during the Group H FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 joint qualification match between Lebanon and South Korea at the Camile Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut, on November 14, 2019. (Photo by – / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Spurs, though, shouldn’t hesitate to look for some upgrades on their existing central defensive options. Dier, though pretty much a regular starter under Mourinho this season, has his fair share of limitations as a centre-back owing to his lack of pace. Sanchez, meanwhile, has often struggled for consistency in North London over the past few years, despite his talent and potential. 

With Alderweireld set to turn 32, Tottenham ideally need to groom another young centre-back with one eye on the future. And reigniting interest in Kim Min-Jae, to that end, would surely be a step in the right direction ahead of the January window.

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BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA – DECEMBER 15: Kim Min-Jae of South Korea controls the ball during the EAFF E-1 Football Championship match between South Korea and China at Busan Asiad Main Stadium on December 15, 2019, in Busan, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)


Tottenham currently seem pretty well-stocked at the back but they shouldn’t hesitate to continue adding fresh faces to their squad to keep progressing in the right direction. Kim Min-Jae looks like a defender with obvious potential and the Lilywhites completing a swoop for the Korean in January would pay off handsomely for their long-term plans.


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