Heise ready to challenge at Norwich City after injury held up early progress
Philip Heise is fit and firing for Norwich City's Premier League crusade.
The versatile left-sided player arrived in January for a nominal fee after originally being earmarked as a summer signing by the Canaries.
Heise has now revealed a hernia operation, shortly after landing in Norfolk, curtailed his bid to be involved in the club's title triumph, but the 28-year-old is ready to push the likes of Jamal Lewis. The former Dynamo Dresden ace has tried to use his time on the sidelines to fully adapt to a new football culture.
"I feel the German players really need about six months to arrive in England and settle in," he said, speaking to German regional news outlet Tag24. "Without speaking English you do not get very far here. Yes, the transfer was planned for the summer but six weeks after my move I had an operation for a hernia.
"Of course, the players in the squad who went up have an advantage but I will look to push my claims and wait for my chance."
City head coach Daniel Farke had predicted it would take time for Heise to fit in, given the experiences of other German players in his squad.
"We've had it several times with players from foreign countries that they sometimes need the time to adapt to English football," he said.
"Sometimes you have a guy like Christoph Zimmermann, who was nearly there from the first day really adapted. But also with Mario Vrancic, Tom Trybull a bit, Dennis Srbeny, Marco Stiepermann - it lasted a few months.
"It is more or less a signing for the new season but to do it a bit earlier helps him to adapt."
Lewis and Onel Hernandez established themselves as Norwich's first choice pairing down the left during the Championship title-winning season, but Farke backs Heise to offer another option.
"He is also still heading up the mountain and not down," he said, speaking at the time he was unveiled earlier this year. "He is a different guy to Jamal - one topic is his experience, but also how he plays the role. Jamal always closes the wings and also is pretty good in defensive terms. I think he can improve in delivering assists and goals, and that's a strength Philip adds to this squad."
- We spoke to Heise shortly after his January arrival, you can watch his interview above