Life was a lot easier for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the summer. Manchester United had just secured third-place and Champions League football, there were noises about the club moving forward under the Norwegian.
Jadon Sancho was tipped to move to Old Trafford and it seemed that the Red Devils are finally on the path to redemption after seven years of stasis.
But two months is a long time in football and Solskjaer is now being tipped to get sacked at Manchester United. A poor start to the season, a 6-1 defeat at home to Tottenham and a bungled transfer window means, all the positive noises around Old Trafford have evaporated.
The uncertainty around Manchester United, which has been a constant since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, is back and the talk of Mauricio Pochettino replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the Old Trafford dugout has been gaining momentum.
Pochettino is a fine manager who has been out of work since he left Tottenham Hotspur last year. He is keen to return to football management soon and a mid-season vacancy at Manchester United is expected to tempt him.
However, the Argentine will be another very obvious choice for Manchester United but at some point, you might think the club will need to take a risk and Pochettino seems to be the safe choice.
For once, Manchester United must ditch the obvious choice and consider snaring Nagelsmann away from Leipzig. Invest in a progressive young coach and back him to rebuild the club.
Julian Nagelsmann: The golden boy of football management
Julian Nagelsmann was around 21 when he decided to end his playing career following a second knee injury and pursued a life in coaching.
He worked as a scout under Thomas Tuchel at Augsburg in the first half of 2008 before taking up coaching as the assistant to Alexander Schmidt for 1860 Munich’s Under-17 side between 2008 and 2010.
Hoffenheim snapped him in 2010 to coach in their academy and he managed different youth teams in the following years. During the 2012/13 season, he was the assistant coach in the first team as well and was the Under-19 coach until 2016. He earned the nickname ‘Mini-Mourinho’ during his stint as an assistant coach at Hoffenheim.
The German club announced in October 2015 that Julian Nagelsmann would take charge of the Hoffenheim first team at the start of the 2016/17 season. He was due to replace Huub Stevens at the end of that season but the latter resigned due to health problems in February and the young German took charge of the club.
Julian Nagelsmann was just 28, making him the youngest manager in Bundesliga history. Hoffenheim was 17th in the table, seven points from safety when he took charge of the club but seven wins in their last 14 games secured their Bundesliga status.
Hoffenheim won hearts the following season with their attacking brand of football and qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history by finishing fourth in the Bundesliga.
The young manager went from strength to strength with Hoffenheim and it was only a matter of time before a bigger fish in Germany would snare him away from the club.
And Hoffenheim announced in the summer of 2018, that Julian Nagelsmann would be leaving the club at the end of the following season. He also became the youngest one to manage 100 games in the Bundesliga in his last year at Hoffenheim.
Nagelsmann took charge of RB Leipzig last year and his first season at the club he surpassed expectations. The Bundesliga side played a scintillating brand of football and finished third in the league table.
The German also became the youngest manager to win a Champions League knockout tie when Leipzig hammered Tottenham over two legs in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Leipzig also made it to the Champions League semi-final for the first time in their history and Julian Nagelsmann further cemented his place as one of the best young managers in the game.
Real Madrid have already tapped him up and there are growing voices that it is only a matter of time before the German takes charge of one of the traditional heavyweights of European football despite having a contract until 2023 with Leipzig.
Julian Nagelsmann at Manchester United?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer understands the ethos of Manchester United due to his connection with the club but results will ultimately dictate his future at the club.
A poor start to the season, a heavy home defeat, a bad transfer window, the re-emergence of Mauricio Pochettino’s links with Manchester United and the recent talk of Bruno Fernandes losing faith in Solskjaer, the odds are stacking up against the Norwegian at Old Trafford.
A horror run of games just after the international break would arrive at the worst possible time for Solskjaer. If results do not improve over the next month, expect Manchester United to act and removing the former striker would not be as financially painful as when they sacked Jose Mourinho in 2018.
Pochettino seems to be the choice but Manchester United would do well to tap up Julian Nagelsmann, a manager Solskjaer will come up against next month when the Red Devils face Leipzig in the Champions League group stage.
At 33, Nagelsmann is very young but he is already the fifth year of his career as a manager. Over the last five years, he has shown constant progress and a brand of football that the Manchester United fans would take to.
German coaches are in demand and he is considered as the best young coach in Europe at the moment. Julian Nagelsmann will soon be managing a big team and why can’t it be Manchester United?
The Premier League giants are in need of a fresh direction under someone who will bring in new ideas and introduce modern coaching to a bloated but talented looking squad.
He is the natural successor to the German coaching heritage that has been established in European football by Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel in the last decade.
Pochettino is a world-class manager and coach and will soon be at a big team. But he is the obvious choice at Manchester United and the Red Devils have made too many obvious choices in the last seven years that has not served them well.
Julian Nagelsmann is a risk as he is still very young and has never managed in England. He is also yet to win a trophy. But appointing time will be a sign that Manchester United are prepared to move in a bold direction under a fresh-faced manager.
Julian Nagelsmann is the next big thing of management and appointing him would show something Manchester United have not displayed in years – a proactive move.