Kim Min-jae, the South Korean center back who recently joined S.S.C. Napoli, made a successful debut in the Italian Serie A. Napoli Manager Luciano Spalletti extolled him, saying Kim was perfect under different circumstances.
On Tuesday, Kim made the starting squad as center-left back in the away game against Hella Verona F.C. It was the South Korean’s first official appearance in 20 days since he had been transferred to Napoli from Fenerbahçe S.K. on July 27.
According to Serie A’s official match report, Kim possessed the ball 94 times during the game, exceeding all players on both teams. And he delivered 74 precise passes, which is also the biggest number from both sides, marking a 90% passing accuracy. He delivered two key passes and eight ball recoveries, a second in his team. Throughout the game, Kim ran 5.927 kilometers, the second longest in his team and the biggest mileage among all defenders. During the extra time of the latter half, he received a warning from enthusiastic defense.
“Kim was vigilant, and his physical is great. His defense is impeccable and majestic. In some circumstances, he was similar to Koulibaly,” Spalletti praised Kim after the game. He was referring to Kalidou Koulibaly, who had played in Napoli for eight seasons before being transferred to Chelsea last season. In a way, the Italian manager expressed satisfaction about Kim, who was recruited to fill out the gap Koulibaly left.