Farke explains Duda’s early City exit as loanee returns to Hertha Berlin

Ondrej Duda's loan spell with Norwich City has been cut short Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Ondrej Duda's loan spell with Norwich City has been cut short Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke has explained why ‘top professional’ Ondrej Duda has been allowed to cut short his Norwich City loan and return to Hertha Berlin, following confirmation of the Canaries’ relegation from the Premier League.

The Slovakia international joined the Canaries in January but struggled to make much of an impact after a bright debut, seeing his goal-bound effort kept out by the hand of Bournemouth’s Steve Cook, with the defender sent off and Teemu Pukki converting the penalty in a 1-0 home win.

Last season the 25-year-old had been a star in the Budesliga, with 11 goals and six assists in 32 games, but two changes of head coach saw him fall out of favour under Jurgen Klinsmann.

Reports in Germany have since suggested that new coach Bruno Labbadia is keen for Duda to come back into the fold next season but City boss Daniel Farke had said after Saturday’s 4-0 loss to West Ham that he was expecting Duda to remain for the final three games of the campaign.

However, reports to the contrary swiftly emerged in Germany and Farke provided an update today ahead of his already relegated team’s trip to high-flying Chelsea on Tuesday.

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“We were in talks in the last few days and we will allow him to do this because I think for all parties it is the right decision for him because in Germany they are already three weeks into the summer break and pretty soon they will start their pre-season.

“I think it also makes sense for him to be back and have a bit of rest because most of the clubs in Germany start in the beginning of August or even in late July for their pre-season.

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“But also for us right now relegation is confirmed so it’s more like even if he would have some game time it’s not like we can save the world anyhow and it’s also a bit more chance for game time for the players who will be here during the next season, so I think it’s a good decision.

“We also allowed this because his behaviour was always unbelievably professional, he’s a top bloke and I think for that we allowed his wish, and also Hertha Berlin’s wish.

“We wanted to show some class because he also showed in his behaviour some class, because he was always there, a top professional, always there in a good mood. Of course he would have preferred to have even more game-time and to have won more games.

“But I think he is a fantastic character and for this we allowed this, so now on he will not be involved in our games.”Hertha finished 10th in the Bundesliga but the top-flight season had resumed sooner in Germany in England, so concluded at the end of June. The new season is due to start during the third weekend of August whereas 2020-21 is not expected to kick-off until September in England.

Duda made 12 appearances for Norwich but was an unused substitute during three of the last four matches.

“It was a brave move for him but at that point in time it was also a good decision because without any doubt he is a player full of potential, otherwise he would be able to score in double figures in the last season in the German Bundesliga.

“He was so highly rated and you could feel this in the first games. He was there almost with a goal against Bournemouth and then the handball and the red card. Then the second game he prepared a penalty with a top class pass to Max Aarons.

“Then after that you could also feel that he wasn’t in his perfect rhythm and the reason we were able to get him, because he was not playing consistently. Of course when you are playing in the number 10 role it is a bit easier when you are playing in a team who are able to dominate possession and dominate each and every game.

“Let’s be honest, when we face top class sides it is quite often that we have to defend and he also played his part in our defensive work. He always delivered top class workloads, he covered 13kms per game, so I was pleased with his commitment.

“But of course he was then not able to shine that much because of our surroundings and also because of his situation, showing not full of confidence. Once we got the feeling that he was coming into his rhythm, there was then 10 weeks of break for the coronavirus.

“It was also an unbelievably difficult season for us so for that I have no complaints. Of course we would have wished that he was there with a few more goals and assists, and a few more successful games, without any doubt.

“But you won’t hear any negative words about him or any complaints about him at all. I was pleased with his commitment and behaviour but it was definitely a difficult few months for him.”

Farke also confirmed that he had no fresh injury concerns ahead of the Chelsea game.

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