Serge Gnabry knows all about playing and training under the stewardship of Julian Nagelsmann from his loan spell with Hoffenheim, and is now looking forward to teaming up with the 33-year-old coach at Bayern Munich from 2021/22.
RB Leipzig tactician Nagelsmann will replace Hansi Flick in the summer of 2021, taking over at the Allianz Arena following one of the most successful eras in Bayern's history. For Gnabry, it will be a reunion after the season he spent at Hoffenheim playing under Nagelsmann in 2017/18.
"We met when I was still playing for Werder Bremen," Gnabry told spox.com. "Back then, he convinced me to go to TSG Hoffenheim instead of spending another year in Bremen. I developed very well under him. He's still very young, has a good drive and attaches great importance to small details. He's someone who makes his players better. I'm really looking forward to working with him again.
"He always gave us excellent tactics," Gnabry continued. "He always wants to be well prepared in every training session and every match analysis. We mostly trained the things that we didn't do well in the previous game. Over and over again until we did better. Julian Nagelsmann is a motivated trainer who always gives 100 percent. And I get along very well with that because I always give everything."
Gnabry had the best goals-per-game return of his career so far while at Hoffenheim, hitting the back of the net 10 times from just 22 Bundesliga appearances. The 25-year-old had that scoring return even despite the fact that on several occasions he played from a right wing-back role in Nagelsmann's setup.
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"In general, I have more fun in a more attacking position," Gnabry said. "But if the coach puts me there, I'll play there too."
Nagelsmann's arrival comes in a summer of major change at Bayern, with Flick leaving as well as key first-team trio David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng all bidding farewell.
In a season in which Bayern defended their Bundesliga title, but were knocked out of both the DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League, Gnabry has not been satisfied with his own performances. A goal return of 10 across all competitions is not enough for him, in his own eyes, but he's already working on making that a one-season bump in the road.
"I'm not satisfied with myself," said Gnabry when asked about his performances in 2020/21. "My goal was to improve my goal and assist rate. I couldn't do that. Unfortunately, there were too many games in which I missed very good chances. I have to work on that.
"I usually analyse shortly after the game on the bus or on the way home: What was good? What was wrong? What could I have done better? Sometimes things go, sometimes they don't. You have to accept that. The important thing is never to give up."
Despite a disappointing domestic campaign personally, Gnabry is in bright spirits heading into the European Championships this summer. The Bayern forward matched Gerd Müller's record of 13 goals in 13 senior international appearances and has since made it 15 goals from 19 caps.
Now, Gnabry wants to pay back Joachim Löw in his final major tournament as head coach for all the trust he put in him.
"For me, it's a great thing to have a coach who thinks so highly of me," said Gnabry of the outbound Mannschaft boss. "But we all want to give him a perfect farewell and play a strong tournament, not just me. Because everyone knows what Joachim Löw has done for German football. He is one of the most successful national coaches of all time."