Another day, another German – who is this guy, where did he come from and why should I, the average Norwich City supporter, get excited about this signing?
Born in Düsseldorf, Heise has never been a one-club man. Bouncing around the Leverkusen, Düsseldorf and Mönchengladbach youth systems, he got a shot at senior football for Düsseldorf II in 2010 where he spent one season before signing for Preußen Münster. After leaving Münster he played for Heidenheim and Stuttgart, with whom he won the third division and second division respectively. In January 2017, Heise signed for newly promoted Bundesliga 2 outfit Dynamo Dresden and instead of fighting for survival, like most promoted teams, they were close to back-to-back promotions, falling just short and finishing 5th. The next season was quite different, as this time round they were actually fighting for survival. This season, they’re a mid-table side and here’s where I can give my two cents.
Disclaimer: Even though Dynamo Dresden are my hometown club, I don’t follow them religiously for – shall we say – political reasons; however, I still watch most of their games, which means that I can give a very accurate assessment of big Phil’s skill and style of play.
So now that we have the ‘I’m neither a reliable news source nor a scout, just a guy that watches football’ stuff out of the way, here’s how Heise plays.
The 27-year old is kind of similar to Marco Stiepermann – initially a left-back, Heise has been deployed in a more attacking role of late, playing on the left wing or in the 10. Standing somewhere between 6’0″ and 6’1″ (1.84m), he could probably do a job as a centre half as well. Unlike Stiepermann, Heise does not rely on his physicality as much. Blessed with a wand of a left foot, he’ll be the man for set pieces, whenever Leitner’s injured.
Personally, I think that signing Philip Heise is a brilliant bit of business; however, no player is perfect and there are some downsides to this move.
Big Phil isn’t the fastest player in the world and when things aren’t going his way, he either goes missing or tries things that aren’t on. He has also struggled with a couple of niggling injuries over the past few years. And another thing that might concern people, is that he had been suspended from Dresden’s first team for the month of December, because of a locker room bust-up after a 3-0 loss to Paderborn. The homegrown quota might also be something to think about here.
Heise isn’t the first player with Dynamo Dresden connections that the Farke/Webber dream team has signed. Marcel Franke, a Dresden native, who spent the second half of last season at his boyhood club, is still on the books at Norwich, though he is currently out on loan at Darmstadt. Another name that will sound familiar is Michael Hefele, the former Huddersfield and current Forest man was snapped up by David Wagner after captaining Dresden back to the second division.
Locker room arguments and homegrown quota aside – Philip Heise is a brilliant signing for Norwich City and I’m sure that he’ll play a big part in Norwich (hopefully) returning back to where they belong – the Premier League.