Leitner determined to prove he is a team player for Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Moritz Leitner is determined to put team interests ahead of personal ambition, after returning to top-flight football with Norwich City.
Leitner's career had drifted off course after an impressive start to life as a professional, with disappointing stints in the Italian and German top tiers with Lazio and Augsburg respectively.
Prior to that the classy passer had won 24 caps for Germany at under-21 level and had helped Borussia Dortmund to a league and cup double in 2012, when he was still 19 - and was an unused substitute as Bayern Munich were beaten in the Champions League final the next season.
After an initial loan spell he joined City permanent in a deal worth around £1.5m in the summer of 2018 and played a key role in setting up a title charge with Daniel Farke's side, before being disrupted by injury.
"The Premier League I think is the best league in the world, it's really nice, every player wants to play in the Premier League," the 26-year-old said of his return to the top level. "Of course the Bundesliga is also a nice league but now I am here I want to show I can be successful with this club and I want to help the club.
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"Like I've always said, the club is the most important thing and it doesn't matter if I play or if one of the other guys plays, we want to be there for our club and to reach our targets."
Leitner returned from a one-game absence with a calf problem in just the 13th minute of Saturday's 2-0 loss at Burnley, after Alex Tettey became the latest City player to join a lengthy injury list, limping off with a groin strain.
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With keeper Tim Krul also struggling through that game with a back issue, head coach Farke already knows he will be without Timm Klose, Onel Hernandez, Christoph Zimmermann, Max Aarons and Tom Trybull at Crystal Palace on Saturday because of long-term injuries.
"Of course it's always better if we have all of the players fit but this happens in football," the German said of the injury problems. "We need every player, we said this from the first day of the season, that every player needs to be prepared.
"Of course we were a little bit unlucky with these injuries all the time but this is not an excuse, we want to fight, we want to win for our club."