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Daniel Farke: There’s even more to come from Leitner

26 June 2018

Daniel Farke, who coached Moritz Leitner with Dortmund U23s, says he is delighted to have signed him permanently on a four-year deal after he impressed on loan with the Canaries.

You must be pleased to have Moritz back and signed permanently?
Yes of course. I’ve made it clear that Mo is an outstanding player with unbelievable technical ability. He had two-and-a-half difficult years which meant we could get him here for a loan spell, and you could see how important he can be and what a great footballer he is. It’s outstanding to have him here on a permanent signing, and I’m really looking forward to having him in the squad.

Are you surprised someone of his pedigree is playing in the Championship?
No, because there are some really quality players in this league. I think it was important he was here on loan and got a picture of Norwich and how big the club is and how big the expectation is. He found his smile again, because he’d lost a bit of enjoying football in the last two-and-and-a-half years because he maybe didn’t make the best decisions in terms of moves. I know he’s enjoyed his football here and he likes our game and he enjoys playing at Carrow Road in the yellow shirt. It will really help that he had this experience with us and had a really good time.

He showed his quality when he was here, but do you think there’s also room for improvement?
Yes I think so because when he came he was not in his rhythm. He nearly played every minute to start with for us without being in his rhythm because he hadn’t played much recently. And then he got injured as well. So it will be good for him to have a whole pre-season with us and he’ll settle with us. I think there’s even more to come from him, and to step back onto the level he promised in his younger years. And if he can do this then he will have a big, big impact for our game. But it’s not about one player, it’s all about the team and Moritz is 100% a team player.

You must be pleased there’s a lot of competition in midfield now?
Yes, I think this area on the pitch is good. We have some key players from last season still here – Alex Tettey, Tom Trybull, Moritz Leitner, Mario Vrancic. And you have Kenny McLean coming in, you have Ben Godfrey back so in general we’re done in central midfield.

Moritz played both deeper and as a no.10 in his loan time with Norwich. Do you see him being flexible again?
He’s flexible and that’s good. He can play no.6, he can play no.8 and he can also play no.10. It’s also good he likes to play wherever we need him, and it can differ from game to game. So for him it’s important he has lots of touches so he can control our rhythm and hopefully he can add goals and assists. I’m pretty confident that Moritz will have a big impact on the game wherever he plays.

His scoring record isn’t as good as he’d like it to be, so do you think that’s an area he’ll be looking to improve?
Yes, I think there were a few chances he missed last season but he played some really good passes and in general played a deeper role to build up our game. He’s probably not the player who’ll score 25 times but I’m sure he will add goals to his game. In his younger years he played a lot in the no.10 position, even for Germany U21s, and everyone in Germany thought he would be the new no.10 for the national squad. So he can play that role, score goals and assist so I hope he can show this next season.

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