Julian Nagelsmann has built a reputation as one of the most exciting young coaches in world football and his next move after Hoffenheim was always going to be eagerly anticipated.
But an announcement on Thursday that Nagelsmann will be leaving at the end of the 2018-19 season to take over at RB Leipzig came somewhat out of the blue.
Since leading Hoffenheim into the Champions League for the second season in a row, plenty of clubs have been waiting to see what Nagelsmann would opt to do next.
Indeed, as soon as Jupp Heynckes confirmed he would not be extending his fourth spell at Bayern Munich, Nagelsmann was being touted as a possible successor, although some senior figures in Bavaria aired their doubts. Arsenal were among the other sides reportedly interested.
It bears repeating - Julian Nagelsmann is only 30 years old. Hoffenheim are the first club he has managed; he took charge aged just 28. The Bundesliga has never seen anything like this before.
Nagelsmann, though, is setting a path for others to follow - both aspiring coaches and clubs. Schalke finished second in the 2017-18 table, below Bayern but above Hoffenheim, under 32-year-old Domenico Tedesco.
OFFICIAL: Julian #Nagelsmann will become RB Leipzig head coach from the 2019/20 season.— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) June 21, 2018
The 30-year-old joins from @achtzehn99_en and has agreed a contract with #DieRotenBullen until 2023. #Nagelsmann2019 pic.twitter.com/DVRrvBHR4c
"My appointment as head coach certainly paved the way for other young coaches," Nagelsmann exclusively told Omnisport last year.
"However, I could also have fallen flat on my face. If it doesn't work out, people will say, 'How can you do such a load of rubbish as a young head coach?'"
Few would have been able to make a success of themselves as a 20-something head coach in one of the most competitive leagues in world football.
But Nagelsmann is one of a kind, his decision to confirm his Hoffenheim departure a year in advance another surprise move that will raise plenty of eyebrows in the game.
"It was important for me to work out all the conditions early," he said in a statement on Thursday.
"I owe it to everyone who has worked for TSG as well as the fans and players after our historic qualification for the Champions League, not to burden them with speculation and uncertainty about my future.
"Now everyone knows and we can move on professionally to concentrate on the tasks that matter."
Many would assume Nagelsmann's authority will be immediately affected, but he is only following the example set by Pep Guardiola who announced he was leaving Bayern for Manchester City well in advance.
It will be fascinating to see how matches play out between Hoffenheim and Nagelsmann's future employers next season - Heynckes' replacement Niko Kovac led Eintracht Frankfurt to DFB-Pokal glory over Bayern in May - with Leipzig recording something of a coup to land the highly rated coach.
Leipzig finished sixth in the Bundesliga last season, only two points behind Hoffenheim but heading into the Europa League instead of the competition's bigger, more prestigious brother is a blow considering the rapid rise of the Red Bull-backed club.
140 - Since Julian #Nagelsmann took charge in February 2016, only FC Bayern (201) and Borussia Dortmund (152) have collected more points in the #Bundesliga than Hoffenheim (140). Coveted. pic.twitter.com/lRh5aAbJhs— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) June 21, 2018
Nagelsmann will be expected to bring plenty of innovation to Leipzig - it will be one of the major reasons they elected to prise him away from Hoffenheim.
"Boredom is the worst factor, this is a big danger for any well-functioning relationship - be this for me as a head coach working together with the players or be this in a private relationship," Nagelsmann, who installed a giant television screen at Hoffenheim's training ground, said to Omnisport.
"There has always got to be that bit of fire. I have a good rhetoric and I can excite groups of people. I already managed to do that in school. You need this gift in order to stand in front of a group of people and to convince them of an idea.
"You need to be very brave if you want to be a successful head coach – you need to try new things, not be afraid of making mistakes and of negative consequences. And you need to have good tactical knowledge."
Opting for Leipzig can certainly be considered brave, with all eyes on Nagelsmann to see if he can continue over-performing with another of the Bundesliga's new boys in 2019 and beyond.
|Mourinho sacked: Pogba´s tweet a dig at departing Man United boss?|
|Newton left frustrated by shoulder injury as Panthers lose again|
|Mourinho sacked: Pochettino & Zidane lead potential Man Utd replacements|
|Mourinho sacked: Neville urges Man United to go for Pochettino|
|Boylen pleased to see Bulls react to red rag in Thunder fracas|
|Icardi and Inter ´very far´ apart in contract negotiations|
|Mourinho leaves Manchester United|
|Curry humbled by latest milestone|
|Robertson: ´Unbelievable´ Alisson will bounce back from error|
|Curry scores 15,000th regular-season point in Warriors win|
|Rams star Gurley ´day-to-day´ with knee inflammation|
|Saints poised to clinch NFC top seed after topping Panthers|
|Mathews, Mendis centuries frustrate New Zealand|
|Kohli: Relentless Australia deserved victory|
|Relief for Paine and Australia after ending Test drought|
|Australia level series with dominant win over India|
|Libertadores holders River learn group as CONMEBOL boss calls for end to violence|
|Chargers RB Gordon planning to return against Ravens|
|Kobe Bryant visit motivated Browns´ Jabrill Peppers|
|De Bruyne: Fatigue not behind injury woes|
|´That´s not my concern´ - Broncos coach Joseph on job security|
|Lowry on Leonard´s free agency: I just want him to be happy|
|Yankees give Sabathia $500K bonus despite ejection|
|Ronaldo confirmed Juventus interest in January – Mendes|
|Lakers guard Rondo to begin rehab stint in G League|
|Saiz to leave Leeds United for Getafe|
|Whyte thinks Joshua rematch is ´only a matter of time´|
|Greenwood stars as Man United end Chelsea´s FA Youth Cup dominance|
|Panthers tight end Olsen expects ´full recovery´ after surgery|
|Derby County 0 Nottingham Forest 0: Lampard´s men fourth after tense stalemate|
|Clermont lose former All Black Toeava for six months|
|MLS unveils revamped playoff format for 2019 season|
|Ferrari to celebrate Schumacher´s 50th birthday with museum exhibition|
|Rabiot set for PSG exit after cancelling contract talks|
|Pepe departs financially troubled Besiktas|
|Philadelphia Flyers fire coach Dave Hakstol|
|Eagles to start Foles v Texans|
|PSG matches against Montpellier and Dijon rearranged|
|Martial agent clouds long-term future after United trigger extension|
|Zverev to make major final in 2019, predicts Ferrero|
|Canelo, Crawford, Lomachenko and the other pound-for-pound contenders|
|Barcelona boss Valverde admits to Lyon uncertainty|
|Club World Cup: Maverick Quintero gets another chance on the big stage|
|Henderson to miss majority of Ireland´s Six Nations campaign|
|Gentner to play on despite father´s death|
|Just good banter – Australia and India not concerned by Paine-Kohli exchange|
|Titans CB Logan Ryan out for season with broken leg|
|Suns send Trevor Ariza to Wizards for Kelly Oubre, Austin Rivers|
|Mourinho charge for ´improper´ language dismissed|
|Are the Knicks for sale? Depends on the offer, says Dolan|
|Klopp´s Liverpool are vulnerable – Neuer|
|Warrington: Frampton not an elite fighter|
|I want to finish the job off - Yates confirms Giro d´Italia focus in 2019|
|Atletico confirm Filipe Luis hamstring injury|
|Best backs Schmidt to lead Lions in 2021|
|Barcelona´s Vermaelen out for a month with calf injury|
|India lose Shaw for Australia tour as defeat looms in Perth|
|We didn´t have much luck - Nedved dismayed by Atletico tie|
|Manchester City must control Schalke, Begiristain warns|
|Ibrahimovic hints at LA Galaxy stay|
|Latham fills his boots in Wellington with record-breaking knock|
|I´m not thinking ´thank God it´s Bayern´ – Klopp|
|Luis Garcia and Steve McManaman confident of Liverpool progress|
|Arsenal face BATE as Chelsea get Malmo in Europa League|
|Europa League last 32: Draw in full|
|Irwin urges Mourinho turnaround before PSG Champions League clash|
|Rush backs German Klopp to see off Bayern|
|Hope shines as West Indies blitz Bangladesh in Sylhet|
|United and PSG set for Champions League showdown|
|Ajax star De Ligt delighted to join Golden Boy alumni|