Where he belongs, his career has its dips but Norwich’s Moritz Leitner is back in the time. Adam Bate examines the German playmaker’s trip to Norwich, the statistics that show his influence, and the challenge that Daniel Farke still faces him…
As soon as he was hit by the feeling, it had been the first home game for Norwich of Moritz Leitner. On a chilly February day, the Canaries were already a target and a man up when their new signing from Germany came off the bench. That very first taste of the Carrow Road audience was. “That’s it,” Leitner said . “That is the feeling that you want to have again.”
A gift in his youth was in danger of becoming one of football talents. Jurgen Klopp had once rated Leitner because”outstanding” when part of his title-winning team at Borussia Dortmund. Reiner Maurer, his mentor at 1860 Munich before thatexpected him to turn into a Germany global.
But that was a very long time ago when he pitched upward at Norwich. There had been a fall-out using the coach Huub Stevens at Stuttgart, where he was accused of arrogance – the local newspaper even referring to his snooty acting fashion. A failed move to Lazio seemed a bet. Leitner recognised too late that a subsequent change to Augsburg was a lousy match.
At that stage, Ralf Minge’s voice, his mentor with the Germany U19 team, appeared prophetic than ever before. “He has all of the prerequisites and talent,” Minge had once said. “But to have the talent and to exploit the gift, they’re two quite different things.”
Leitner himself came to find that the die was cast for him. “I had been placed into a box,” he explained. “The picture of me was that I did not need to understand, I was arrogant, that I just thought of myselfthat I didn’t work hard enough, that I was a gift.”
He could not have been sure that the move to Norwich would have been a much better fit than Augsburg. It’s a fact that he knew Daniel Farke together. However, that was England’s second tier, for demanding robustness, a division famed, also he joined a team that was in the lowest half of the Championship table.
And he soon won with his technical abilities that were best. In which it seemed there was none, he discovered time on the ball. Despite having not kicked a ball for Augsburg in six months, the abilities hadn’t left him. The participant who Maurer had noticed was”very difficult to separate in the ball and always has his head up” was in there.
The fan-favourite status of leitner was secured when he weighed at September of this past year – a strike with his foot against arch-rivals Ipswich from outside the box. Though he was unable to force his way back in the group after returning from injury in Februaryhe played his role and has found himself back into the group this season.
There was a feeling so it has demonstrated in those opening months and that the Premier League would match Leitner’s talents better. His 105 passes in the win over Newcastle have been the most by any player in the first fortnight of the competition. There were 88 more of them from West Ham out time. Leitner is a magnet to get the chunk.
In part, these passing numbers signify the rough game of Farke but they are also strange to the player himself. Leitner is averaging well over 80 moves per 90 minutes so far this year but no Norwich player is averaging over 60. No other participant at any of these promoted clubs is averaging around 60. He is unusual in his ability.
Leitner wears Norwich’s No 10 top and that’s where he played with his younger days, but he’s being used deeper than that by Farke at a role the participant once referred to as an”offensive six”. Playing as one of those two aids the team because it puts him onto the ball.
As Alex Schmidt, his previous mentor in 1860 Munich, formerly pointed out, Leitner is”technically very smart” – but he is”not a simple player” either.
Finding the correct role has been an issue. So has that standing that is diffident ever since Stevens bawled out him ground at Stuttgart. Even though Leitner has talked publicly of growing up at Norwich and”pressing the reset button” in his livelihood, not all these issues have gone away. It’s a solution.
For all Leitner’s silkiness, and despite everything he can do with a football, goals like the one against Ipswich have been few and far between. His career goal tally stands at four. That usually means transferring him deeper makes sense. But playing to his own defence demands shielding that defence and taking obligation to suffer to both side.
The early indications are that this might be quite a weakness for Norwich. According to the stats, Leitner was dribbled past 11 times this year – the fourth most of any participant in the Premier League this year. Norwich have conceded more goals and it’s no coincidence – it’s a by-product of the strategy that was expansive and open.
That’s a conundrum for both Farke although maybe not to the neutrals. The sight of Leitner spraying on moves from midfield is a joy. You will find its joys , needless to say. However, there is also the satisfaction of seeing a gift that had been in danger of fading from view. Restored into where Leitner – along with his many admirers – have constantly felt he belongs.
Read more: sports betting usa