Moritz Leitner

Moritz Leitner (born 8 December 1992) is a German professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Norwich City.[2] He has previously played for Borussia Dortmund, 1860 Munich, FC Augsburg and Lazio. He has been capped at youth international level by Germany and Austria.

Moritz Leitner
Moritz Leitner.jpg
Leitner with VfB Stuttgart in 2013
Personal information
Full name Moritz Leitner[1]
Date of birth (1992-12-08) 8 December 1992 (age 28)
Place of birth Munich, Germany
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Norwich City
Youth career
1995–1998 FC Unterföhring
1998–2010 1860 Munich
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2011 1860 Munich 16 (0)
2011–2016 Borussia Dortmund 46 (1)
2011FC Augsburg (loan) 9 (0)
2013–2015VfB Stuttgart (loan) 40 (2)
2016–2017 Lazio 2 (0)
2017–2018 FC Augsburg 6 (0)
2018Norwich City (loan) 12 (0)
2018– Norwich City 38 (2)
National team
2008 Austria U17 1 (0)
2010–2011 Germany U19 8 (7)
2013 Germany U20 2 (2)
2011–2015 Germany U21 24 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:58, 20 May 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18:05, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Club careerEdit

1860 MunichEdit

 
Leitner playing for 1860 Munich.

Born in Munich, Leitner started his football career at FC Unterföhring, joining them at the age of two. As a six-year-old, he moved to 1860 Munich.[3]

Leitner made his professional debut for his childhood club 1860 Munich on 14 August 2010, coming on as a substitute for Aleksandar Ignjovski in a DFB-Pokal match against SC Verl, setting up an equaliser for Stefan Aigner.[4] By the end of 2010, Leitner had made eighteen appearances in all competitions. Prior to his departure in January, his form dipped and he was often relegated to the substitute bench.[5]

Borussia DortmundEdit

In October 2010, it was announced that Leitner would move to Borussia Dortmund when the transfer window opened in January 2011.[6] He signed a four-year contract with the club, keeping him there until 2015.[7]

Leitner immediately joined FC Augsburg on loan. When his loan spell at Augsburg came to an end, he returned to Borussia Dortmund and was given the number seven shirt.[8][9] Having been an unused substitute from the start of the season, he made his Borusssia Dortmund debut on 24 September 2011, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 2–1 win over Mainz 05.[10] Leitner made a handful of first team appearances between 22 October 2011 and 26 November 2011, when he suffered a back injury that kept him out throughout 2012.[11] On 22 January 2012, he made his return to the first team, setting up a goal in a 5–1 win over Hamburger SV.[12] Although he suffered another injury later in the season,[13] Leitner made 22 appearances in his first season although, because of competition in the playmaker position, only four as a starter in the 2011–12 season. In those 22 games, he made two assists.[14]

Leitner made his first start of the 2012–13 season in a 2–1 loss against Bayern Munich in the DFL-Supercup.[15] After the departure of Shinji Kagawa, he received more game time, making 30 appearances.[16] Due to the impressive performances of Mario Götze, however, only ten of these were as a starter and he spent most of the 2012–13 season on the substitutes bench.[17] He appeared as an unused substitute in the UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern Munich.[18] He made three assists with no goals scored. Leitner hinted at leaving Borussia Dortmund to get first team football in the 2013–14 season.[19]

After two seasons on loan at Stuttgart, Leitner's future at Borussia Dortmund became uncertain following the arrival of Thomas Tuchel.[20] In the first half of the season, he played for the club's reserve side.[21] His first appearance came on 1 October 2015 - a 1–1 draw against PAOK in the UEFA Europa League.[22] In second half of the season Leitner played for the first team due to an injury crisis.[23] He went on to make twelve appearances in all competitions.

Loan to AugsburgEdit

Shortly after joining Borussia Dortmund, Leitner joined FC Augsburg on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season in January 2011.[24]

He made his Augsburg debut in a 2–0 win over Ingolstadt 04 on 16 January 2011, setting up one goal.[25] After being sidelined with an elbow injury,[26] Leitner made 9 appearance for the club.

Loan to StuttgartEdit

 
Leitner playing for VfB Stuttgart.

On 1 July 2013, Moritz Leitner joined VfB Stuttgart on loan until June 2015.[27]

He made his Stuttgart debut in their first game of the Bundesliga season in a 3–2 loss against Mainz 05.[28] He suffered a knee injury in training in September 2013.[29] He returned to the first team on 1 November 2013, playing against his parent club in a 6–1 loss.[30] On 1 February 2014, Leitner scored his first Bundesliga goal in Stuttgart's 2–1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.[31] He was sent off for a second bookable offence in a 4–1 loss against 1899 Hoffenheim on 15 February 2014.[32] Having suffered injuries throughout the season,[33] Leitner finished his first season with Stuttgart with 24 appearances and one goal in all competitions.

In his second season at Stuttgart, Leitner continued to be a first team regular. He scored his first goal of the season in a 3–2 loss against Hertha BSC on 3 October 2014.[34] During a 3–3 draw against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on 18 October 2014, Leitner suffered a thigh injury and was sidelined as a result.[35] As the 2014–15 season progressed, his first team opportunities came under threat when he fell out with manager Huub Stevens, resulting in Leitner being dropped from the first team.[36][37] Leitner was also demoted to the reserve side for the rest of the season.[38][39] He made 20 appearances and scored once in all competitions.

Just before the end of the season, it was announced that Leitner would return to his parent club when the 2014–15 season ended.[40]

LazioEdit

On 12 August 2016, Lazio signed Leitner from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €1.5 million.[41][42] He was signed to replace Ogenyi Onazi, who had joined Turkish Süper Lig club Trabzonspor.

On 1 October 2016 he made his Lazio debut, coming on as a late substitute in a 3–0 win over Udinese.[43] Leitner made another appearance on 26 October 2016 in a 4–1 win over Cagliari.[44] Leitner spent the first half of the season on the bench. He made two appearances for Lazio.[45]

AugsburgEdit

On 31 January 2017, Leitner was signed by Bundesliga side FC Augsburg[46] on a four-year deal for a reported fee of €2 million.[47] Upon joining the club, he was given the number five shirt.[48]

Leitner did not appear in the first team immediately, due to issues in adapting to the club's playing style.[49] On 17 February 2017, he made his second debut for Augsburg in a 3–1 loss against Bayer 04 Leverkusen.[50] Leitner made his first start on 12 March 2017 in a 3–0 loss against Schalke 04.[51] He made six appearances for the club in the 2016–17 season.

Norwich CityEdit

Having failed to make an appearance in the first half of the 2017–18 season, Leitner was loaned to EFL Championship side Norwich City on 25 January 2018 for six months.[52] His debut for Norwich City was as a substitute in a 0–1 win over Brentford on 27 January 2018.[53] On 26 June 2018, Leitner joined the club permanently on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.[54][55] He scored the equaliser in the first East Anglian derby of the 2018–19 season, the game finishing 1–1.[56] With Norwich, he won promotion to the Premier League in the 2018–19 season.[57] Afterwards, he fell out of favour and only made nine appearances in the top flight, as the club suffered relegation after one season. Despite this, Leitner remained out of the squad and made no appearances as the Canaries secured another Championship title for the 2020–21 season.[58][59]

International careerEdit

Having made one appearance for Austria U17 - against Estonia U17 on 21 May 2008, a 7–0 win[60] - Leitner appeared to switch nationality.[61]

In September 2010, Leitner received German citizenship, making him eligible to play for Germany.[62] He made his debut for the U19 national side in a 3–0 win over Denmark U19.[63] Leitner scored two goals in a 10–0 win over Andorra U19 on 8 October 2010 and another in a 2–1 win over Northern Ireland U19 three days later.[64] He later went on to score four more goals for the German U19s, including one in a 5–0 win over Macedonia U19.[65]

Leitner made his debut for Germany U21 in a 4–1 win over Cyprus U21 on 9 August 2011.[66] Leitner scored his first Germany U21 goal on 10 October 2011 in an 8–0 win over San Marino U21.[67] He captained the team three times.[68][69][70] Leitner was also included in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship squad, playing once in the tournament.[71]

In March 2013, Leitner was called up by Germany U20.[72] He scored in both legs against Switzerland U21.[73][74]

Personal lifeEdit

Leitner's father, Erwin Feldberger (born 1943), comes from the Baden-Württemberg town of Burladingen. His mother comes from Austria. His father was also a footballer. Leitner is one of two children and grew up in the suburb of Oberföhring.[75]

Career statisticsEdit

As of the start of the 2020–21 campaign
Club Season League Cup Continental Other1 Total Ref.
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1860 Munich 2010–11 2. Bundesliga 16 0 2 0 18 0 [76]
Augsburg (loan) 2010–11 2. Bundesliga 9 0 0 0 9 0 [76]
Borussia Dortmund II 2011–12 Regionalliga West 2 0 2 0 [76]
2015–16 8 3 8 3 [76]
Total 10 3 10 3
Borussia Dortmund 2011–12 Bundesliga 17 0 2 0 3 0 1 0 23 0 [76]
2012–13 25 0 1 0 4 0 1 0 31 0 [76]
2015–16 8 0 1 0 3 0 12 0 [76]
Total 50 0 4 0 10 0 2 0 66 0
Stuttgart (loan) 2013–14 Bundesliga 21 1 1 0 2 0 24 1 [77]
2014–15 19 1 1 0 20 1 [76]
Total 40 2 2 0 2 0 44 2
Stuttgart II (loan) 2014–15 3. Liga 1 0 1 0 [76]
Lazio 2016–17 Serie A 2 0 0 0 2 0 [76]
Augsburg 2016–17 Bundesliga 6 0 0 0 6 0 [76]
Norwich City (loan) 2017–18 Championship 12 0 0 0 12 0 [76]
Norwich City 2018–19 Championship 29 2 2 0 31 2 [76]
2019–20 Premier League 9 0 1 0 10 0 [76]
2020–21 Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 [76]
Total 50 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 53 2
Career total 184 7 11 0 12 0 2 0 209 7
  • 1.^ Includes German Super Cup.

HonoursEdit

Borussia Dortmund

Norwich City

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit