Norwich City confirm Philip Heise deal - six months earlier than planned
- Credit: Michael Bailey
Philip Heise has broken Norwich City's January transfer silence with a deadline day move to the Championship promotion hunters.
The 27-year-old joins from German second-tier outfit Dynamo Dresden for what is understood to be a modest six-figure fee, used to bring the left-sided player to the Canaries six months ahead of schedule.
Heise had already agreed to join City in the summer as a free agent, after rebuffing Dresden's attempts to persuade him to sign a new deal.
The former Fortuna Dusseldorf and Borussia Monchengladbach youth product has signed a contract set to keep him at Norwich until the summer of 2022, with the move subject to the usual international clearance. He will wear the vacant number 28 shirt.
'I'm very excited and happy to be here; it's a nice step for me,' said Heise, who becomes City's first – and most likely only – first-team signing of the January transfer window.
'This is a massive change for me and a chance for the first time to play abroad. The whole situation for my whole family, coming here to new surroundings and then being in England, being happy in this new situation I find myself in – and then get going and playing in the Championship.
'It's OK for me and my family and I now have time to search for a flat or a house and I can start from the summer perfect in the pre-season, so everything is fine.'
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Heise arrived with good attacking pedigree that had attracted Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer – with Norwich's name even then not too far away from the discussions.
With plenty of attacking pedigree having played in most of the positions on offer down the left side, the style and work of head coach Daniel Farke is exactly why Heise finds himself in Norwich.
'I am here because of the philosophy and the way Norwich are playing, because it is Daniel Farke's style and the way he wants to play, and I think that will suit me – it's obviously one of the main reasons I have signed for Norwich,' said Heise – with the assistance of new City team-mate Christoph Zimmermann; the centre-back taking a brief turn as a reassuring translator.
The pair both hail from Dusseldorf and shared time in Monchengladbach's academy – albeit in different age groups, some nine years ago.
'He is a good guy of course and I'm happy to see him,' smiled Heise.
'In pre-season we played Aston Villa so I know how tough the game is here, especially the physical side – it's more advanced compared to Germany.
'Also from what I've watched – and I saw the play-off games last season – they were the top teams in the Championship, and the quality was high. You could definitely compare that to the lower midtable teams in the German top flight.
'I like a game that has full-backs running up and down the line and I'm looking forward to that. I'm sure it's something we can all expect. But most important for any full-back is to defend of course.
'In my personal situation I am happy to be here early so at this stage now so I can get some time to get used to it.
'But also I will not be concerned if in two or three weeks I'm not starting each and every game – because I know this is a step by step development and also for me to get used to the Championship, to get used to playing here and help out whenever I can.
'I am happy to learn English football and every team has its own character. So I can learn that and I have the time to do it.'
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