In which he belongs, his career has its dips but Norwich’s Moritz Leitner in the time. Adam Bate examines the German playmaker’s journey to Norwich, the statistics that reveal his sway, along with the challenge that Daniel Farke nevertheless faces with him…
It had been Moritz Leitner’s very first home game for Norwich as soon as he was hit by the feeling. The Canaries were already a target and a man up when their newest signing from Germany arrived off the seat. That first taste of this Carrow Road audience was. “That is it,” Leitner said to himself. “That’s the feeling you want to have .”
A prodigious gift in his youth, the now 26-year-old midfielder was in danger of becoming one of football’s wasted abilities. Jurgen Klopp had once rated Leitner because”outstanding” when a part of his title-winning staff in Borussia Dortmund. His coach at 1860 Munich earlier that, reiner Maurer , completely expected him to become a Germany global.
But that was all a long. There had been a fall-out in Stuttgart, where he was accused of arrogance – the paper speaking to his acting fashion with the veteran coach Huub Stevens. A failed move to Lazio consistently seemed a gamble. Leitner recognised too late that a subsequent change to Augsburg was a bad match.
At that point, his previous coach with all the Germany U19 group, the voice of Ralf Minge, seemed more prophetic than ever before. “He has all the requirements and talent,” Minge had once said. “But to have the talent and to exploit the talent, they are two quite different matters.”
Leitner himself arrived to realize that the die was cast for him in Germany. “I were placed into a box,” he explained. “The photo of me was I did not want to understand, that I was smug, which I only thought of myselfthat I didn’t work hard enough, I was a gift.”
He couldn’t have been convinced that the move to Norwich could have been a better match compared to Augsburg. It’s a fact that he understood Daniel Farke in their time together. However, this was the second grade of England, a division famed for requiring robustness, also he was joining a team which was in the lowest half of the Championship table.
And he soon won with his supreme skills over the supporters. He discovered time in the ball in which it appeared there was not one. He had not been deserted by the abilities, despite never kicked a ball for Augsburg in half a year. The participant who Maurer had noticed was”quite difficult to separate in the ball and always has his head up” was in there.
The fan-favourite standing of leitner was procured after he weighed at September of this past year – a strike along with his foot against Ipswich from outside the box. Though he was not able to push his way back into the group he has found himself back in the team this season and played his role.
There was always a sense that the Premier League would match Leitner’s abilities better anyway and so it’s proved in these opening weeks. His 105 passes in the win over Newcastle were the most by any participant in this competition’s first fortnight. There were 88 more of these against West Ham last time out. Leitner is a magnet for the chunk.
In part, those amounts that are passing reflect Farke’s rough attacking game however they are also odd to the player himself. No Norwich participant is averaging over 60 although leitner is averaging well over 80 passes per 90 minutes so far this year. No other player at some of these clubs is currently averaging around 60. He is unusual in his capacity to order.
Leitner wears Norwich’s No 10 shirt and that is where he played with his younger days, however he is being used deeper than that by Farke in a function the player once referred to as an”offensive six”. Playing as one of the two at a 4-2-3-1 formation assists the team as it gets him on the ball.
As Alex Schmidt, his old mentor at 1860 Munich, once pointed out, Leitner is”technically quite clever” – but he is”not a very simple participant” either.
Discovering the perfect role has been a problem. Has that diffident reputation because Stevens bawled him out floor at Stuttgart. While Leitner has talked openly of growing up in Norwich and”pressing the reset button” in his livelihood, not all these concerns have gone away. It’s a solution.
For all Leitner’s silkiness, despite everything he can do with a football, intentions such as the one against Ipswich have been few and far between. His career goal tally stands . That means transferring him seems sense. But playing to his defence demands shielding that defence and accepting responsibility to endure to both side.
The signs are that this could be a weakness for Norwich. According to the stats, Leitner has been dribbled past 11 days already this season – the fourth most of any player in the Premier League this year. Norwich have conceded more goals and it is no coincidence – it’s a by-product of their strategy that was expansive and open.
That is a conundrum for both Farke but maybe not for the neutrals. The sight of Leitner spraying on moves from midfield is a joy. There are its joys , obviously. However, there’s also the pride of seeing a gift that had been in danger of fading from view restored into the limelight. Restored into where Leitner – and also his admirers – have felt that he belongs.