Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann has already identified Thomas Müller as a key member of a team he intends to lead to further success. - © /
Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann has already identified Thomas Müller as a key member of a team he intends to lead to further success. - © /

Julian Nagelsmann counting on Thomas Müller to deliver more trophies at Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann says it would be hard for any coach not to pick Thomas Müller, as he bids to follow in Hansi Flick's success-filled footsteps.

When Nagelsmann looks at the final farewell photo of Flick as Bayern coach, he cannot help but dream of seeing a similar picture, several years down the line, of him surrounded by such quantities of silverware.

The former Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig coach knows he has some of the largest shoes to fit in Munich, at a club where success is the only expectation, and in order to fit them snuggly, he has picked out Müller as one of the key assets of his majestic inheritance.

"Thomas is an extremely ambitious person with a strong winning mentality," Nagelsmann told the Bild am Sonntag. "He was frustrated after the Euros, but with him, you know that when he's fit, there are only a few coaches who wouldn't pick him.

"He's got outstanding quality and was always one of the most difficult players to prepare to face as an opponent, because you just can't pick him up because he's got this incredible feel for space. He's always driven to play all the time and be the best, so why should I do without a player of such quality?"

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Müller is likely to form part of a solid spine of players Nagelsmann will build his team around as he looks to latch on to the success of nine straight Bundesliga titles.

"When you see the axis of Hansi's team and the players who played the most minutes and delivered outstanding performances, then you can see that it's always a good idea, particularly in the central core areas, to have players with a certain amount of experience, quality and the corresponding winning mentality," Nagelsmann said.

"Whether that's Müller, Joshua Kimmich, Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, Leon Goretzka – they're all key players, but I could name many more."

The real core of Bayern, though, comes from an unrivalled winning mentality, forged from a unity of ideas and desires and embodied by their 'Mia san mia' motto which the self-confessed Bayern fan Nagelsmann grew up admiring.

"In the end, Bayern's 'Mia san mia' means being convinced of the way you are doing things, not settling for what you've already achieved, but always keeping on going and having a good self-belief; knowing that you can achieve everything, having the conviction that you can be successful and you can win titles.

"I've always been fascinated by this Bayern gene and I saw it at youth level, whenever we played against Bayern. You could see it already when they arrived, even in the clothes they wore. They were very united, oozing this 'Mia san mia'. They would take to the field with this self-belief and, while we didn't lose every time we played against them, you could definitely tell that 'Mia san mia' was a concept that the youth players identified with.

Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann(r.) admitted it was almost impossible to prepare his team to face Thomas Müller (l.), such is his unpredictability. - /

"That doesn't mean arrogance, but more the endeavour to be the best and to work hard for it. When you work hard, you're permitted to behave that way."

Nagelsmann has seen for himself where hard work can lead, and with that image of Flick and his trophies impressed on his mind, and his own dose of humility, he begins his quest to start his own collection of trophies with a strong, successful core of players, including an indispensable Müller.