Berlin - Julian Nagelsmann, coach of Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig, credits
opposite number David Wagner with the transformation of midfielder Amine
Harit from "enfant terrible" into a match-winner for Saturday's
With three goals and as many assists, the 22-year-old Harit is in
form as an attacking midfielder or left winger for Schalke, who are up
to fifth in the table, but only three points behind leaders Leipzig.
After a difficult 2018/19 season, overshadowed by injury and his
involvement in a car accident in Morocco which left a man dead, Harit
scored the winner and set up the other goal in Schalke's 2-1 win over
Mainz last Friday.
Harit, who was born in France, started his career at Nantes and
played for the French Under-21s before opting for Morocco in 2017, the
year he joined Schalke, for whom he also scored twice in their 5-1
demolition of Paderborn a fortnight ago.
Nagelsmann credits ex-Huddersfield boss Wagner, in his first season
in charge of Gelsenkirchen-based Schalke, with the rebooting of Harit's
"I think it's an outstanding indication of the class of David Wagner
as a coach," said Nagelsmann, who praised the Schalke boss for
harnessing the talent of "a difficult player", previously considered an
"However, this is a very, very good Bundesliga player, who David has put back on track," said Nagelsmann.
The 32-year-old has issued "special" instructions to his defenders on
how to contain Harit, "which I won't give away" and expects a tough
"They (Schalke) are a team with the most sprints and their individual players move a lot," said Nagelsmann.
"You can already tell that they work a lot and defend extremely well, especially in the first 65 minutes."
Leipzig top the Bundesliga and host Lyon in the Champions League on
Wednesday having already earned a 2-1 win at Benfica 10 days ago, thanks
to both goals by Germany striker Timo Werner.
However, it's too early for any talk about them ending Bayern Munich's run of seven straight German league titles.
"It is clear that we will not start putting out the bunting at
Leipzig's town hall on the fifth match day," said Nagelsmann, pointing
out that Schalke have only three points fewer "and strangely enough,
they aren't being treated as title hopes".