Bayern Munich are getting a top coach in Julian Nagelsmann (l.), says former Hoffenheim midfielder Eugen Polanski (r.). - © imago
Bayern Munich are getting a top coach in Julian Nagelsmann (l.), says former Hoffenheim midfielder Eugen Polanski (r.). - © imago
bundesliga

"Julian Nagelsmann has something special" - former Hoffenheim midfielder Eugen Polanski

Former Hoffenheim midfielder Eugen Polanski has offered an insight into what Julian Nagelsmann will bring to the table when he takes over as Bayern Munich head coach in the summer.

Polanski played under Nagelsmann between February 2016 and May 2018, during which time Hoffenheim were transformed from relegation to top-four candidates.

Nagelsmann has only cemented his reputation as one of Europe's brightest tactical minds since moving to RB Leipzig in July 2019, and Polanski fully expects the 33-year-old to deliver when he steps into Hansi Flick's shoes at Bayern.

"He's a fantastic person, and he takes that with him as a coach," Polanski, who retired from football in 2018 with 254 Bundesliga appearances to his name, told Sport1.

"He doesn't take himself too seriously, has a good sense of humour and likes to lark about. He has something special."

Watch: Julian Nagelsmann - bound for Bayern Munich

After saving Hoffenheim from the drop in the latter part of 2016/17, Nagelsmann oversaw two successive top-four finishes as the Sinsheimers enjoyed European football for the first time in their history.

Nagelsmann signed off at the end of 2018/19 with Hoffenheim in ninth, before consolidating Leipzig's position inside the Bundesliga's top three and taking the ambitious Saxony outfit to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2019/20.

True to form, the 33-year-old has had Die Roten Bullen breathing down Bayern's necks throughout 2020/21, and could still deliver the club's first major trophy in the DFB Cup final as a parting gift.

According to Polanski, it's Nagelsmann's meticulous playbook that sets him apart.

"He made pass sequences designed for the next opponent without telling us," the former Poland international recalled. "We only noticed this in the game or during the pre-game briefing.

"The training exercises are always focused on something specific. He mixes things up to challenge you. Limiting the space and number of touches, increasing or decreasing the number of players in squares, playing a high or deep offside line - all that kind of thing is the norm with him."

Watch: Julian Nagelsmann's RB Leipzig under the tactical microscope

As well as being a renowned tactics obsessive, Nagelsmann has earned a reputation as something of a player whisperer on account of his ability to get his charges performing above their perceived potential.

Taking charge of a team where established stars far outnumber under-the-radar talent will be a new experience for the Bundesliga's youngest ever coach. Not that Polanski doubts his former mentor's credentials to succeed at the helm of Germany's most successful club.

"Julian Nagelsmann doesn’t have to earn much respect there," he explained. "Even the players who have been through a lot, achieved a lot and had great coaches will quickly realise that what he says, does, the way he trains them, and how he interacts with them away from football is consistent.

"My advice to Bayern is to let Julian be Julian."