Tottenham Hotspur‘s decision to not sign Kim Min-jae is looking like a big mistake.
But after just a season at Turkish Super Lig giants Fenerbahce, Serie A side Napoli took the punt on the 25-year-old colossus, signing him in a £15.5m deal as a replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly, who swapped Naples for Chelsea in July.
On Wednesday night, Premier League giants Liverpool got a taste of exactly what Kim is capable of – the Korean star earned a 7.4 rating from SofaScore as he made six clearances, put in a match-high three blocks and landed three tackles.
The 6 foot 3 titan also won 100% of his duels up against a tricky front line of Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah.
A pretty remarkable showing on what was his Champions League debut but truth be told, he has been playing out of his skin for quite some time and it leads to questions about Spurs not signing him.
After all, he’d have needed little time to settle in, given his international teammate Heung-min Son is a popular figure around N17.
Once dubbed as “the monster” due to his physical presence, Kim could have been a frightening partner for Cristian Romero in Antonio Conte’s backline for many years to come considering they are both in the 24-25 age bracket.
So far in the Italian top-flight this campaign, the former Beijing Guoan star ranks inside the top 5% of all Serie A centre-backs for interceptions (2.4 per 90), as well as the 1% for aerial duels won (89.5% per 90), completed passes (55.4 per 90) and goals scored (0.40 per 90), via FBref.
That would make him an aggressive threat in both boxes and a centre-back equally adept with the ball at his feet, very much in the same ilk as Romero.
Perhaps in another world, Conte would have one of the most powerful-looking backlines in England, so surely he regrets Spurs’ failure to sign him in recent windows.