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'We're done in central midfield' - City boss happy to complete part of next season's jigsaw

Moritz Leitner shoots during one of his final appearances on loan for Norwich City last season, at Alex Neil's Preston. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Moritz Leitner shoots during one of his final appearances on loan for Norwich City last season, at Alex Neil's Preston. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Daniel Farke is thankful Moritz Leitner "found his smile again" at Norwich City.

Now the Canaries head coach is hoping the performance – with assists and goals – will follow.

Leitner completed a £1.5m permanent switch to Carrow Road on Tuesday, having spent the second half of last season on loan from Augsburg – albeit without an assist or goal to show for his 12 appearances.

But the 25-year-old showed glimpses of huge promise, with everyone now hoping there is more to come following Leitner’s commitment to four years with City.

“I think it was important Moritz was here on loan and got a picture of Norwich and how big the club is, how big the expectation is,” said Farke.

Moritz Leitner is all smiles after completing his permanent switch to Norwich City. Picture: Jasonpix/Norwich CityMoritz Leitner is all smiles after completing his permanent switch to Norwich City. Picture: Jasonpix/Norwich City

“He found his smile again, because he’d lost a bit of enjoying football in the last two or three 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.

“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 Moritz will have a big impact on the game wherever he plays.

“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.

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“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 as a number 10, even for Germany Under-21s, and everyone in Germany thought he would be the new number 10 for the national squad. So he can play that role, score goals and assist, so I hope he can show this next season.”

While strikers and wide options – both defensively and in attack – are clearly on City’s summer shopping list, Farke admitted his midfield mix is where he wants it to be heading into the new season.

He added: “I think this area on the pitch is good. We have some key players from last season still here – Alex Tettey, Tom Trybull, Moritz, Mario Vrancic. And you have Kenny McLean coming in, Ben Godfrey back, so in general we’re done in central midfield.”

As for Leitner, he is also hoping he can kick on following his first few months in yellow and green.

“I had a good time (on loan), with some good games and some OK games,” he said. “I just want to be a part of this club and for sure I’m really happy and also really proud to be here and to wear the shirt.

“The most important thing is we get a good atmosphere at the club and for the supporters so it’s like a big family. We want to work for our club, we want to fight for our club and we want to win for our club.”

For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…

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