Duda’s City loan ‘served its purpose’ claims Hertha chief
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Hertha Berlin’s sporting director Michael Preetz has claimed that Ondrej Duda’s loan move to Norwich City ‘served its purpose’, with the Slovakian now a prominent part of the German club’s plan for next season.
The Canaries confirmed that the attacking midfielder would be returning to his parent club early after City’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed with a 4-0 loss to West Ham United last weekend.
Duda made 10 top-flight appearances for the Canaries but failed to record a single goal or assist during his spell at Carrow Road - despite City boss Daniel Farke describing the 25-year-old as a potential ‘£25million’ player.
The Slovakian was loaned to the Canaries in January after finding himself out of favour under then boss Ante Covic. Jurgen Klinsmann took the hotseat but still Duda found himself without consistent game time.
That triggered a move to City, where the midfielder impressed on debut in the 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth. Duda failed to replicate that performance again and the end of his loan spell saw him replaced in the side by Marco Stiepermann.
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Bruno Labbadia is the new head coach of Hertha, and Preetz insists that Duda remains a significant part of their plans for the next Bundesliga campaign.
“It was not a lost period of time,” Preetz said. “Ondrej has got game practice in a strong league. England is harder, that is true. Nevertheless, the loan has served its purpose.”
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Duda had an impressive individual campaign for Hertha in the 2018-19 season, playing in 32 of the 34 games, scoring 11 goals and registering six assists.
The German club will be hoping the Slovakian international can re-discover this form following his spell in England.
“Nothing has changed in the fact that we are planning with Ondrej. The manager and I are convinced that with his anticipation, his ability to score and his ability to lead the game, can help us,” Preetz told German website Kicker.
“Ondrej is robust and strong enough for the kind of football we want to play.”