Michael Hefele hardly hid his delight after netting a dramatic late winner against Leeds United for Huddersfield Town back in February. Swearing directly into the TV cameras in a trance of euphoria, the charismatic German merely endeared himself further to The Terriers and made a claim for genuine cult hero status.
And while Leeds fans will have been cursing Hefele for his last-gasp intervention that sent David Wagner sprinting down the John Smith’s touchline, it is likely they will have also admired Hefele’s commitment, determination and down-to-earth persona.
‘The Hef’ possesses exactly the kind of warrior spirit that goes down so well in West Yorkshire. With Leeds targeting a January loan move for his Terriers’ team-mate Scott Malone, per ClubCall, perhaps they should consider enquiring about the 6ft 3ins centre-back while they are at it.
Injuries have been, quite literally, Hefele’s Achilles heel since Huddersfield remarkably earned promotion to the Premier League in May. He’s made just one substitute appearance this season, coming on in the dying seconds of the 1-0 win against Newcastle United in August.
Though, even when fully fit, there is no guarantee that the former Dynamo Dresden defender will force his way back into Wagner’s starting XI. Christopher Schindler has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water while Matthias Jorgensen has also cemented his place as first choice.
A short-term loan to Leeds then, like Malone, could give Hefele the game time he needs. Leeds are a little light in centre-half depth so the German could be a solid back-up and, unlike most players in Thomas Christiansen’s squad, knows what it takes to win promotion.
Supporters will have to forgive Hefele for that February winner first, however.