Ralf Rangnick left Lokomotiv Moscow behind to join Manchester United as interim manager.
One of the club’s players admits he has been left stunned by the German’s departure.
While Rangnick was the head of sport and development, he was also hands-on with the first team.
Lokomotiv defender Maciej Rybus was taken aback by the news Rangnick was leaving to take the job at Manchester United.
Rybus told Polish outlet Weszlo.com: “He was at our club, signed a five-year contract for a lot of money, and suddenly goes to Manchester United. It’s hard to relate to it.
“He was such a coordinator in Lokomotiv, in the club there was to be a lot of emphasis on introducing young players to the first team. The whole structure inside the Lokomotiv has changed, many employees come from Germany, it was Rangnick who brought them here. Analysts, scouts, coaches for the academy.
“He stayed with us all the time, he was at every training, at every pre-match briefing. He even entered the cloakroom during breaks. He was not a coach, but it was felt that he had an influence on the coach’s decisions. He gave his directions.”
Rybus’ did go on to add that the possibility of Rangnick to United may have been in the pipeline for longer than just the past week, adding: “I heard a month ago that the topic of United is played.”
What is the impact of Rangnick’s departure?
Lokomotiv’s players and staff had bought into the Rangnick project, and as Rybus explains, they feel abandoned.
Even though his assistant Lars Kornetka, will replace him in his role and several of Rangnick’s staff will stay in Russia, the project is now going through a rocky phase.
Lokomotiv sit 4th in the Russian Premier League, and on Monday night they were beaten 3-1 by 13th placed Arsenal Tula.
Russian website Championat reported: “Judging by the match in Tula, the Loko players seem to be in shock and do not believe in the success of the project.”
The outlet speculates whether Lokomotiv will collapse as a team or be able to rally. Clearly it seems Rangnick’s departure has hit them hard.
This shows what an impact the German had during his short time at the club, which was just getting started.
He is now bound for Manchester United, with The Times reporting he is already in the UK, but is awaiting his Home Office approval so he can start work. Caretaker boss Michael Carrick will take charge on Thursday night against Arsenal.
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