On Saturday August 17, 2021, shortly after Bayern’s big 3-2 win over VFL Wolfsburg, Hansi Flick announced his decision to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the 2020-21 season. The news left the Bayern board reeling, and the club now having to navigate the final stretch of the season under the uncertainty of not knowing who their next manager will be. So who should be their next manager? Here are some of the top candidates.
Julian Nagelsmann‘s developed a reputation as one of the brightest young managers in the world since taking over 1899 Hoffenheim in 2016. Still only 33 years old, Nagelsmann’s already had a hand in transforming two of the Bundesliga’s elite, and may now get his hand at the job he’s been linked with for the past five years.
Nagelsmann may have to adjust his tactics away from a back-three, which he has used at both 1899 Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig. But his tactical knowledge will certainly help him to become a Pep Guardiola-esque figure for the club. At just 28, Nagelsmann became the youngest manager in the history of the league when he took over Hoffenheim in 2016. The German manager led them away from relegation that season, and the very next, earned them a 4th place finish and a spot in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.
Following Ralf Ragnick’s departure from RB Leipzig, Julian Nagelsmann was the natural heir and seamlessly stepped into the role. In his first season at the club, he led the Red Bulls to a UEFA Champions League semi-final for the first time in their history.
With his proven track record of success at two Bundesliga clubs, Julian Nagelsmann is the name on everybody’s lips to replace Hansi Flick at Bayern Munich. Realistically, he might even be announced as the Flick’s replacement in the next couple of weeks. However, there are a few other potential candidates.
Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s time in charge of Southampton has not been smooth sailing. With two embarrassing 9-0 defeats and a barren run toward the end of the 2020-21 campaign, the Austrian may soon be on his way out of the club. However, Hasenhuttl has done some remarkable things with the Saints. He led the club to the top of the table for the first time in the Premier League era, steered them away from relegation in his first season at the club, and reached the FA Cup semi-finals in his second.
Hasenhuttl also built a great reputation as manager of RB Leipzig when the side first earned promotion. The Austrian manager took over from Ralf Rangnick for Leipzig’s first season in the top-flight, and then took the Red Bulls on a stellar run toward the top of the league within his first few months. With Borussia Dortmund not at their best, Leipzig took complete advantage and secured a stunning second-place finish in their first season in Germany’s top-flight. Hasenhuttl was paramount to their success, drastically improving a squad of young talents in a highly functional gegenpressing system. However with a lack of depth in the team, the Austrian’s team couldn’t cope with the added pressure of balancing Europa League matches with the Bundesliga, and faltered in both competitions. Leipzig stuttered to a 6th place finish in the league, a quarter-final finish in the Europa League, and Hasenhuttl parted ways with the club after just two seasons.
Despite not leaving Leipzig on the best of terms, Ralph Hasenhuttl has a proven track record of promoting youth, instilling tactics to get the best out of his players, and taking a team to the top of the league, even if it has been temporary on both occasions. He should be a top contender to replace Hansi Flick at Bayern Munich, even if not the first choice.
Although his reputation was partially ruined toward the end of his time in charge of Borussia Dortmund, it wasn’t all that justified given what Lucien Favre achieved for the Black & Yellows. The Swiss manager should have won the league in his first season in charge of BVB, and would have won the league in his second season had it not been for such a damaging start to the campaign. His third season did not go as planned, but Favre still has a proven track record of developing players, developing squads and winning high-level football matches in the Bundesliga.
The French manager also has Bundesliga experience with Hertha Berlin and Borussia Monchengladbach, even leading Gladbach to a third place finish in 2015. Favre may be an unlikely choice, but he has more top-flight experience than both Hasenhuttl and Nagelsmann combined, and would be excellent for die Roten if selected.
Although he might be the least recognizable name on the list, Oliver Glasner has to be in the conversation to be the next Bayern Munich boss. The Wolfsburg man has led his team to a staggering season in 2020-21, with the club currently in third place with four matches to go. Coming from Austrian side Linzer Athletik-Sport-Klub, Glasner was not expected to achieve much in his first season at the club. But the Austrian led the Volkswagen-owned club to a respectable 7th place finish in 2019-20, utilizing a systematic 4-2-3-1 system. Glasner has surpassed expectations in 2020-21, improving the likes of Wout Weghorst, Ridle Baku and Maximilian Arnold along the way to a place in the UEFA Champions League next season. All of the players mentioned are now some of the Bundesliga’s best, and Glasner himself is slowly building up his reputation as one of the top managers in the league. With a win rate of nearly 50% in his two seasons at the club, who knows what Glasner could achieve with Bayern’s star-studded squad.
The timing of Hansi Flick’s announcement came as a surprise, but luckily it has given us all a greater chance to reflect on who the next Bayern Munich manager might be. The candidates look likely to be narrowed down to just Julian Nagelsmann and Ralph Hasenhuttl, but Lucien Favre and Oliver Glasner would be excellent choices for the role should they be given the opportunity. An announcement regarding the next manager will likely be on its way soon, and Bundesliga Daily will be right there with you to bring you the latest news on this managerial saga.