When 29-year-old Julian Nagelsmann stepped into the hot seat at relegation favorites TSG Hoffenheim in February 2016, it was taken as little more than a publicity stunt which would surely doom the German outfit to relegation.
However, it has proven to be anything but, as the coach has led a revolution since his appointment, with his unique methods and ideology securing not only Bundesliga survival for his club, but also qualification for the UEFA Champions League the following season.
However, Nagelsmann’s impact is expected to be felt well beyond the club that is blessed enough to have him at the helm.
The German coach could lead a revolution of clubs turning their focus away from former players to well-studied, university educated coaches, as Nagelsmann is.
Considered already as one of the world’s most progressive coaches, his Hoffenheim side play with an immense understanding of the game, allowing them to stare down even the most capable of opponents and go toe to toe with them without fear.
The start to his second full season has been as successful as his first, as despite an elimination from the Champions League playoffs at the hands of Liverpool, Hoffenheim currently sit second in the Bundesliga, above defending champions Bayern Munich.
Bayern have recently made the shocking decision to part ways with Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti, after a poor start to the season and an even poorer showing in the Champions League the season before.
Despite this, however, the main motivation behind the decision to let the revered Italian go was the declining style of play, especially after the Bavarians had grown used to Pep Guardiola’s possession football which is currently taking root in Manchester.
The Bavarian outfit have long aimed to be the spearhead of German football, and therefore the connection between them and the man expected to be the nation’s most successful coach is well founded.
However, for 30-year-old Nagelsmann, moving to a club with such high expectations may not be the best move in his career.
There is no doubt about Naglesmann’s quality – the German is more than qualified to be the new face of one of the biggest clubs in the world.
However, at a club where even Pep Guardiola may be looked upon as a failure by some fans for his inability to secure the Champions League crown.
The margins are tight at the top and Bayern, a club who is already at the summit, can only go down.
Regardless of Nagelsmann’s quality, getting it right when it comes down to the minuscule margins that separate a resounding success and a catastrophic failure at Germany’s biggest club will undoubtedly be an almost insurmountable task even for the best in the world.
At this time in his career, Hoffenheim’s coach can’t risk any damage to his exponentially expanding reputation.
Furthermore, Naglesmann isn’t only a manager of a single club; he is an ambassador for an entire wave of managers that could soon bring about a wholesale changing of the guard in European football.
The German coach must choose his steps carefully, or risk a complete destruction of everything that he stands for.
Bayern Munich may be a tempting option, but it would be in the best interest of Nagelsmann himself, as well as the wider world of football, that he rejects the offer.