Timm Klose is the gold standard for Norwich City’s upward mobility

Timm Klose was in the wars again for Switzerland's during Monday's 2018 World Cup qualifying win in

Timm Klose was in the wars again for Switzerland's during Monday's 2018 World Cup qualifying win in Andorra. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chief Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt assesses how crucial it is to keep Timm Klose fit this season

Ryan Bennett looks more accomplished alongside Timm Klose. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images L

Ryan Bennett looks more accomplished alongside Timm Klose. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Timm Klose is not simply a cult hero with Norwich City fans. He is an indispensible part of Alex Neil's Championship blueprint.

Which is why the Swiss international's fitness is likely to dominate Neil's planning for Rotherham's Championship visit on Saturday after an awkward tumble on duty for his country in Andorra earlier this week. Klose was able to play on after going over on his ankle in the first half of a hard-fought 2-1 win before being replaced by Borussia Mönchengladbach's Nico Elvedi at the interval. But the tremors could be felt in Norfolk when he hit the turf in the rather quaint surroundings of the Estadi Nacional.

The 28-year-old has missed one Championship game so far this season - and it proved costly given the recent stoppage time implosion at Newcastle.

City squandered a 3-2 lead in the 95th minute as the Magpies went for the jugular with an aerial bombardment that underlined how important Klose is to the Canaries' backline.

Norwich City defender Timm Klose has been passed fit for Rotherham's Championship visit. Picture by

Norwich City defender Timm Klose has been passed fit for Rotherham's Championship visit. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

There is an uncomfortable parallel here with the sour end to a Premier League season that looked poised to avert disaster with Klose a growing influence following his winter move from Wolfsburg. A season-ending injury at Crystal Palace in early April sparked an almost audible intake of breath from the travelling fans in attendance at Selhurst Park. Later confirmation Klose had suffered knee ligament damage felt like a terminal blow that proved sadly prophetic when his team-mates were unable to rouse themselves in his absence.

Statistics in this case do not lie. Klose is worth an extra point to his club when he is in Neil's line up based on the empirical evidence available since his debut against Tottenham in a losing cause in February 2016.

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Klose is not simply a quality operator; a full international who swapped the Champions League knock-out stages in Germany for a Premier League relegation tussle. He is also an influential, infectious character who seemingly inspires those around him. That is arguably the most striking aspect of his impressive career in green and yellow.

Ryan Bennett relished the guidance and direction in a top flight coupling cruelly cut towards the end of last season. Russell Martin has been similarly assured alongside him since replacing Bennett.

Which is why Klose's absence for any length of time would induce an uneasy feeling. What unfolded in a frenetic late burst at St James' Park emphasized far beyond any dry statistical analysis he is a vital part of the machine. Neil labelled his comeback performance at Wolves prior to the international break as one of his most accomplished. He would hope for another against the Millers this weekend.

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