Speaking to the media during the during the club’s training camp in Qatar, Bayern Munich center-back Matthijs de Ligt commented on a number of topics, including the stylistic approach of his new coach Julian Nageslmann. In doing so, he brought up a similarity between Nageslmann and current Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag.
“He [Nagelsmann] is a coach who talks to the players a lot,” said De Ligt. “His training exercises are similar to Erik ten Hag, my former coach at Ajax. I feel like I’m getting a little bit better with him every day.”
Of course, this is to be expected — Ten Hag has some Bayern DNA of his own. He coached the reserve team from 2013 to 2015, around the time Pep Guardiola was in charge of the first team. During his time at Ajax, Ten Hag was often the subject of rumors relating to the Bayern job — once back in 2019 when Niko Kovac was sacked, and later in 2021 when Hansi Flick announced his departure.
In a way, you could say that Julian Nagelsmann beat Ten Hag to the punch, assuming the Dutchman wanted the job to begin with. As for De Ligt, he’s likely satisfied that he finally has a coach who is more up to his speed. Playing for Allegri at Juventus must’ve been a nightmare by comparison.