Moritz Leitner will miss the next four weeks after suffering a hamstring injury against Hull City on Saturday.
Speaking at his pre-Barnsley presser at Colney on Monday lunchtime, this is what Daniel Farke had to say about Leitner
“Moritz Leitner got a hit and he overstretched his leg and has a hamstring injury, with blood in the hamstring. The first diagnosis is we`ll have to do without him for four weeks. Hopefully he can return pretty soon after the international break.”
To me that is a huge blow for the squad. Leitner has been excellent since he arrived on loan in January. He hit the ground running and has been a calming influence in the centre of the park, playing alongside Alex Tettey since Tom Trybull suffered his own long(ish) term injury.
I don`t think that defensive midfield playmaker is the position that Farke had in mind when he persuaded the player to come to Norfolk either. I got the impression at the time that he would be playing somewhere across the three behind the striker in a more advanced position but Trybull`s injury opened up another option and it`s always good to have options.
His talent is not in question and despite struggling to settle since he left Dortmund, I wonder if he just needs to feel loved? Certainly his relationship with Farke more than helped his loan move to England.
The defence and Alex Tettey all know that when you get the ball, you need to give it to Mo. He will then get things moving and everything of late has been going through him to start with.
I`ve written before that I would love to sign him on a permanent basis and I`m clinging to the hope that if (when) James Maddison is sold then Leitner could be his replacement.
The only sticking point is that I`m sure that Augsburg know how good a player he is and if he was surplus to requirements there, then they`d want market recompense. Having said that, he only cost them ?1.5m, so you never know.
I`d like to think we could afford to give them their money back.
In the meantime there is a game to play away at Barnsley tomorrow and the news isn`t too good in terms of replacements.
Tettey`s knees are struggling to play again so soon and Harrison Reed is ill. If he isn`t available and Alex isn`t either, then I imagine we`ll see Mario Vrancic and perhaps James Maddison might drop back with Wesley Hoolahan stepping in at number 10.