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.
|LeBron focusing on patience after first Lakers practice|
|Pochettino expects Spurs in new stadium by Christmas|
|Inzaghi: With Ronaldo, Juve are best team in Europe|
|Some people talk too much – Icardi hits back at critics|
|Kovac, Robben praise Augsburg after draw|
|Angels star Ohtani to undergo Tommy John surgery|
|Simeone tips Gimenez to be fit for Madrid derby|
|Smith on his NBA Finals miscue: People make mistakes all the time|
|Rams CB Talib to have ankle surgery|
|Cousins ´feeling a lot better´, still unsure when he´ll return|
|I knew we´d be in trouble with Jones on penalties – Mourinho|
|Coyotes forward Galchenyuk expected to miss opener|
|Guardiola won´t compare Foden to Iniesta|
|Lampard shell-shocked as Derby win at Old Trafford|
|Ryder Cup 2018: USA celebrities take the honours|
|Manchester United´s torrid penalty shoot-out run continues against Derby|
|Guardiola: Foden already a great, great player|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Huesca 0: Rojiblancos cruise ahead of Madrid derby|
|EFL Cup: Lampard dumps out Mourinho, Burnley lose at Burton Albion|
|Mourinho denies Pogba row despite stripping midfielder of vice-captaincy|
|Fabinho situation not complicated, insists Klopp|
|Manchester United 2 Derby County 2 (Derby win 8-7 on pens): Lampard heaps pressure on Mourinho|
|Afghanistan snatch tie after Shahzad pummels India|
|Inter 2 Fiorentina 1: D´Ambrosio maintains Nerazzurri revival|
|Oxford United 0 Manchester City 3: Foden stars as EFL Cup holders cruise into round four|
|Cousin takes Gabon post after Aubameyang rejection|
|Bayern Munich 1 Augsburg 1: Neuer error costs champions|
|Paris Saint-Germain must be a Champions League force to help Neymar - Baptista|
|Salgado warns of ´war´ in Spanish football|
|Cech deserves Arsenal place, says Seaman|
|Halep and Garcia among seeds to fall in Wuhan|
|F1 Raceweek: Mercedes taking no comfort in points advantage|
|Benitez charged by FA for referee comment relating to Zaha treatment|
|Cibulkova dumps out hampered Halep in Wuhan|
|Mourinho questions his players amid reports Pogba won´t captain United again|
|European Ryder Cup diary: Fleetwood´s hair delights Poulter|
|USA Ryder Cup diary: Tiger´s roaring reception, McEnroe´s bold prediction|
|Loans to be limited under new FIFA proposal|
|Prolific Nadolo signs new Montpellier contract|
|Modric? For us, Messi is the best – Valverde|
|Murray makes winning start in Shenzhen|
|Mickelson would cherish first victory on European soil|
|Hodge hoping pressure proves too much for South Africa|
|Woodward in show of support for under-fire Mourinho|
|Mickelson jokes he wants ´a shot a side´ from Tiger in Thanksgiving showdown|
|Reed: Captain America is a villain in Europe|
|Duminy to captain Proteas as Elgar replaces injured Amla|
|No Tottenham timeline for Lloris, Vorm returns|
|Woods ready for ´awesome environment´ on Ryder Cup opening hole|
|Tony Bellew determined to prove doubters wrong against Oleksandr Usyk|
|Tuchel explains why he likes Neymar at number 10|
|Manchester United smash revenue record but profits down|
|Furyk downplays Ryder Cup pairings talk, says Tuesday is about individuals|
|Rejuvenated Tiger out to improve poor Ryder Cup record|
|Saunders fined £100,000 for ´sickening´ online video|
|Hazard can reach his full potential with Sarri´s Chelsea - Zola|
|Ryder Cup heading back in Europe´s direction, says Niall Horan|
|Wow! Klopp hails Sarri´s Chelsea transformation|
|Giovinazzi to partner Raikkonen at Sauber in 2019|
|Bjorn backs ´phenomenal´ Rahm to continue trend of Spanish success|
|Durant in no rush to decide Warriors future|
|Rossi to face anti-doping hearing|
|Mignolet to return for Liverpool against Chelsea|
|Premier League ´interesting´ for Germany boss Low|
|Wilder wins Twitter vote to be Joshua´s next opponent|
|BREAKING NEWS: Isco an El Derbi doubt due to appendicitis|
|Juventus won´t rest Ronaldo ahead of Napoli clash|
|Slater cleared to play in NRL Grand Final|
|Top seed Begu sent packing in Tashkent|
|This isn´t my last hurrah in Ryder Cup, insists Poulter|