Hoffenheim have brought forward the appointment of Julian Nagelsmann, with the 28-year-old now taking control of the relegation-threatedn club with immediate effect and becoming the youngest coach in Bundesliga history.

Nagelsmann had been due to take the role in July, with Huub Stevens given the job of keeping the club up this season. However, Stevens, 62, stepped down on Wednesday after less than four months in the job because of concerns over his health. The club decided that Nagelsmann, who has been working as the Under-19s coach, will take over early.

Stevens was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia, heart rhythm irregularities, and is expected to retire from football.

Huub Stevens

Huub Stevens has stepped down as coach of Bundesliga strugglers Hoffenheim.

Hoffenheim’s managing director, Dr Peter Görlich, told the club’s official website: “We have a duty of care to the club and of course the people involved. Together with Julian, we again carefully weighed up all the risks we considered in the autumn and have now decided the best way is for him to start earlier. He is keen and he can also give the team fresh impetus.”

Hoffenheim are currently 17th in the table, seven points from outright safety and five adrift of the relegation play-off berth.

Nagelsmann was briefly an assistant coach during the 2012-13 campaign, and he was expected to spend the resof the season with the Under-19s as he continues studying for his senior coaching licence.

Nagelsmann said: “It’s a big challenge of course, made harder by the current points situation. But I am looking forward to working with the team.”

Nagelsmann played at youth level for 1860 Munich and Augsburg before his career was ended by a persistent knee injury. He then moved into coaching with Augsburg, where he worked under Thomas Tuchel, the current Borussia Dortmund coach

Hoffenheim travel to Werder Bremen, the side currently in the relegation play-off spot, in their next league fixture on Saturday.