Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski cannot get any better so only needs to train to keep fit, according to RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann.
Lewandowski scored a career-best 55 goals in 47 games as Bayern won a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble last season.
The 32-year-old will be expected to play a key role once again as the Bavarian giants go in search of a ninth straight league title in 2020-21.
Nagelsmann believes Lewandowski is at a point in his career where he can simply focus on keeping himself fresh for the demands of the season, a luxury players at Leipzig cannot afford.
“With all due respect, Robert Lewandowski doesn’t really have to train anything anymore,” Nagelsmann told Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.
“He can do everything. He just has to train in such a way that he’s fresh and ready for the weekend.
“In addition, we can no longer pick from the top shelf of internationally coveted young players. At this point, [Borussia] Dortmund and Bayern are ahead of us. Therefore, we will not be able to catch these teams if things go normally.”
Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga last season and, after losing attacking duo Timo Werner and Patrik Schick, Nagelsmann simply hopes his young squad does not go backwards.
“If we were fifth or sixth, it would be disappointing for everyone involved. I put this pressure on myself,” he said.
“You have to take into account the performance gaps with young players. There will be point losses and you will find it difficult to get to the top.”
Bayern will open the new Bundesliga season at home against Schalke on Friday, with Leipzig’s first game against Mainz scheduled for Sunday.