Before Julian Nagelsmann came Ralf Rangnick, and he too has been linked to the vacant Tottenham Hotspur managerial role this week…
According to The Athletic, the former RB Leipzig coach and sporting director could emerge as a viable option for Spurs given his proven track record of developing players.
The 62-year-old is currently unemployed following his role as Head of Sport and Development at Red Bull, where he oversaw global initiatives such as their acquisition of a new Brazilian side in Clube Atletico Bragantino.
He was also snubbed for the England job in 2017, with the Football Association opting to hire Sam Allardyce instead.
If Spurs fail to land their mooted top target, Nagelsmann, then they cannot do any wrong in appointing his predecessor as it’ll only help them fix a long-standing problem that surfaced under Jose Mourinho this season.
CIES Football Observatory recently conducted a report that revealed a damning trend. It showed that Spurs were just one of three Premier League teams to not give any minutes to a player aged 21 or under.
Given their struggles, this is particularly worrying as Mourinho never turned to their youth even when needing a different threat, By comparison, league leaders Man City have handed out 7.8% of their minutes to U21s, whilst Wolves top the charts at 16.2%.
The Lilywhites have some hugely promising youngsters in the academy set-up, notably the likes of Dane Scarlett, Alfie Devine and Olvier Skipp – albeit, he’s currently out on loan.
Appointing someone like Rangnick would improve this record tenfold. At Leipzig, he remarkably only signed players under the age of 23, and he had quite the eye for spotting a talent too.
He was the man to unearth the likes of Naby Keita and Timo Werner, who are now in the Premier League, as well as mooted transfer target Marcel Sabitzer.
Rangnick is also widely regarded as the pioneer of the high-pressing – or ‘gegenpress’ – system we see a lot in modern football, particularly in Germany.
If Levy wants to improve such a key part of Spurs’ foundation and future, then Rangnick is surely the perfect candidate.