Updated: Jan 8, 2022
Ralf Rangnick's recent move to Manchester United's head managerial position has brought many to research exactly why he was signed. Most football fans know him as one of the founding fathers of the high intensity, Gegenpress along with Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool FC. Gegenpress is the style of play concentrated on pressing to win the ball back immediately after loss of possession. United fans are surprised and excited about Rangnick's appointment because of the slow build up type of football that they have become accustomed to in recent years.
One aspect of the German's resume that was not touched on as much is his immaculate recruiting history. At Stuttgart, Schalke, Hoffenheim, RB Salzburg, and most recently RB Leipzig, Rangnick has built his teams around relatively unknown, young players who have gone on to become global superstars. A look at those biggest names can give insight to what Manchester United faithful can be excited about.
Arguably, his most bountiful time as manager has come with RB Leipzig in terms of player recruitment. Rangnick has been the sporting director, manager, and global sports director in four different stints with the club across the years. In that time he has signed some big names...
Joshua Kimmich / 500,000 / 2013
Kimmich has moved on to Bayern Munich and has become one of the best midfielders in the world following in the footsteps of Bayern legend Philipp Lahm.
Timo Werner / 10,000,000 / 2016
Timo Werner left RB Leipzig two seasons ago for Chelsea where he has scored more goals than any other player since his arrival.
Ibrahima Konate / Free Transfer / 2017
Looking back on it, a free transfer for a player that became part of your best center-back pairing and then selling him to Liverpool for 36 million is brilliant business for Rangnick.
Ralf Rangnick had two stints at RB Salzburg both as a sporting director. Salzburg won two Austrian Cup titles and two Austrian League titles during his time. He uncovered some real talent and even sold them onto other brother Red Bull clubs.
Erling Haaland / 7,200,000 / 2019
Haaland has risen to the level of being one of the most expensive players right now from his performances at Salzburg and now at Dortmund. Keep an eye on his transfer status in this coming summer.
Sadio Mane / 3,500,000 / 2012
Sadio Mane's move to Salzburg caught the eye of Premier League scouts where he moved from Southampton to Liverpool. He earned himself a golden boot and relatively high Ballon D'or rankings in years past.
Dayot Upamecano / 1,900,000 / 2015
After solid performances in Austria, Upamecano then moved to brother club RB Leipzig for 10 million in 2017. He joined up with fellow frenchman Konate before moving to Bayern Munich this past summer.
Lastly, a five year managerial position at Hoffenheim starting in 2006 brought one familiar face in...
Roberto Firmino / 4,400,000 / 2011
Firmino made his name in the Bundesliga before making his move to Liverpool in 2015 and becoming an eventual UEFA Champions League winner and EPL winner with Sadio Mane.
Regardless of how Rangnick can possibly recruit the best young talent in the world in the relatively small window that he has, it is quite possible that he could attract many of the big names stated above to sign for the Red Devils. In the past, United have been hit or miss with their recruiting. Too many players have come in as promising players and left as relative flops for the Theater of Dreams. Something has to be done to stop this rotation. Players like Haaland, Kimmich, and Upamecano have all been linked with Manchester United as possible targets. It will be an interesting transfer window ahead with Rangnick possibly moving into more of a scouting and personnel director position after this season.