When Marcel Hilssner joined Coventry City in the summer he caused plenty of excitement among the fans before he’d even kicked a ball.
The German attacking midfielder’s arrival, however, didn’t go according to plan as a breathing issue held back his attempts to gain full fitness in the pre-season – an issue that dragged into the new Championship campaign.
At the midway point of the season Sky Blues manager Mark Robins decided to send him out on loan to League Two Oldham Athletic to get some valuable game time and get himself up to speed.
So far he’s played all four games since joining the Latics, playing the full 90 minutes in his last three since getting through 83 minutes on his debut, helping Harry Kewell’s men to seven points from a draw, defeat and two wins so far.
So how’s he getting on?
Here freelance football writer Simon Smedley, who has watched 26-year-old signing from SC Paderborn, gives his first impressions of the player.
What position has he been played in?
“It’s been kind of central midfield, heart of midfield kind of player.
“He’s been playing in a midfield two or 4-3-3.”
“He’s got a sweet left foot and from what I have seen of him he’s stood out.
“He’s been very energetic and really determined and enthusiastic, and that left foot of his is beautiful.
“So he looks a really talented player and as if he has the potential to play at a higher level. Whether he makes it at Coventry, I don’t know, but I have been very impressed with him.”
Standout moment so far:
“He took a free-kick against Salford last week for one of the Oldham goals, and he hit it that hard it was like an Exocet.
“The keeper could only parry it into another Oldham player who just knocked in the rebound.
“I think the free-kick was from something like 30 yards and it was like a rocket.
“I don’t think I have seen a free-kick travel as fast as that in years.
“I remember Johnny Metgod of Nottingham Forest fired one in against West Ham back in the 80s and it was still rising when it went in, so it reminded me of that.
“But his all round game is full of energy and enthusiasm, and looks first class to me. And Oldham have got themselves a good player there.”
How’s his fitness looking?
“We’d heard about his medical issues when he first arrived but there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with his engine, I can tell you that much.
“There’s nothing wrong with his energy and I think Harry Kewell will be absolutely delighted with him.”
What do the fans think?
“I think the fans have already taken to him with some great comments on social media, so they seem to love him already.
“And I think a lot of him already despite only seeing him a couple of times, but he’s my type of player and certainly caught my eye.
“He seems a really good acquisition for Oldham; looks a great player.”