With headlines dominated by Germany’s calamitous World Cup campaign, RB Leipzig’s appointment of Julian Nagelsmann has perhaps gone under the limelight, taking fans by surprise. Under contract with Hoffenheim until 2021, the 30-year-old activated an exit clause to sign a deal with RB Leipzig until 2023, whom he will join next summer. It’s a move that seemingly came out of nowhere.

And without knocking the ambitions of RB Leipzig, it was unexpected to see Nagelsmann, one of Germany’s most sought after coaches, announced as the head coach of the Red Bull backed club given he’d been linked with future roles at Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Germany, as Joachim Löw’s eventual successor.

But although it caught many off guard, it’s a move that makes sense and perhaps an appointment that could change the outcome of the Bundesliga, making RB Leipzig into side that can challenge on all fronts for potentially the next decade.

Appointed as Hoffenheim head coach at the age of 28 following Huub Stevens’ resignation due to health problems, Nagelsmann built die Kraichgauer into a force to be reckoned with.

Guiding Hoffenheim to two successive Champions League qualifications, the Sinsheim club will go straight into the group stages this campaign, as opposed to being the non-seeded in the qualification stage like last season, after finishing the 2017/18 campaign above Borussia Dortmund, beating them 3-1 on the final day.

Not only that, Nagelsmann has done it on a relatively small budget in comparison to other clubs around them during his time at Hoffenheim. He’s also had a strong impetus on youth while being a great motivator, getting the best out of players such as Kevin Vogt, Andrej Kramaric and Mark Uth, players who perhaps hadn’t lived up to expectation at their previous clubs.

Despite being such a young age, Nagelsmann has an aura about him. Lee Scott, Lead Analyst for Total Football Analysis, described Nagelsmann as a: “fantastic and progressive young coach who fits their philosophy perfectly.”

The ideologies Nagelsmann has learnt and put into place at Hoffenheim is certainly something the 30-year-old will be doing at RB Leipzig in 2019. It’s a move that makes sense for him and it’s one that could challenge Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title, given their recent appointment of Niko Kovac and so, they themselves will be undergoing a period of transition.

Ralph Hasenhüttl and RB Leipzig went their separate ways this summer after the German failed to qualify for the Champions League, largely down to being unable to get Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg on form, as he did the prior season.

It’s also one that needed to be made by RB Leipzig’s hierarchy. Under the coaching of Hasenhüttl, they stagnated last season, just managing to hold onto a Europa League place finishing the season in sixth, a stark contrast to the prior campaign finishing runners-up to Bayern Munich, coasting past teams with relative ease.

Although yet to announce who will take charge for the 2018/19 campaign, RB Leipzig fans will be hoping that their new coach will be able to take them into Europe once again before the arrival of Nagelsmann next summer.

It’s also hard to imagine that someone of Nagelsmann’s age has so much experience. By the time he arrives in Leipzig, he’ll have coached Hoffenheim in both the Europa League and Champions League while leading Hoffenheim to back-to-back top four finishes in the Bundesliga while in just two-and-a-half seasons, only Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have collected more points.

Something that RB Leipzig will certainly utilise is Nagelsmann’s tactical prowess. Unlike Hasenhüttl – who didn’t really have a plan B – Nagelsmann can change things up. The 2017/18 campaign has seen Hoffenheim play several formations: 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and 5-3-2, with the latter used during the later stages of last campaign, where Hoffenheim excelled.

Already at an advantage, RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick and Nagelsmann have worked together before during their time at Hoffenheim. It’s something that will likely pay dividends in 2019 and many will expect RB Leipzig to hit the ground running. Their time at Hoffenheim and Leipzig are very similar, Rangnick made the foundations while Nagelsmann has perfected them and made Hoffenheim into a powerhouse.

Only time will tell, but Nagelsmann, Rangnick and RB Leipzig seems like a match made in heaven and it’s one that could potentially see the first Bundesliga title arrive in Leipzig.

By Daniel Pinder