Few expected Przemyslaw Placheta to play again for Norwich City when he was loaned to Birmingham at the start of the 2022-23 season.

The Pole had struggled to live up to his £2.7million price tag, scoring just once in his first two years at Carrow Road and looking lost under both Daniel Farke and Dean Smith.

He impressed in his first month with the Second City club, making what Blues boss John Eustace described as a “massive impact” at St. Andrew’s. But a twist in the tale came when long-term injury meant his premature return to Norfolk

“That was really tough for me, the injury situation” Placheta said, speaking to City’s official matchday programme OTBC . “It taught me a couple of things which I am using right now. I feel better for that.

“Of course, it was really tough for me but I got some good things to add to my game, to my body.

“I’m a person who will always look for something good in a bad situation, like when I was in rehab or only in the gym. I was looking for some good things to find for myself to use that time.

“Not just doing the rehab day-by-day, I was also watching games, putting the different match situations into my head, to visualise. I was using what I could.”

The Pink Un: Placheta's time on loan at Birmingham City was cut short by injury.Placheta's time on loan at Birmingham City was cut short by injury. (Image: PA)

Navigating that tough period was done with the help of many people, but ensuring a positive home life was key for Placheta at a difficult time.

“I’m really thankful to my wife, to my family, that they were with me through it,” he continued. "It’s not like I could forget about it, because football is my passion and I can’t forget about that side of things.

“But with my family, especially my wife, we were able to spend more time together, go away and do things, visit places, to enjoy life a bit.

“I’m still young, but we as footballers have 10 to 15 years to play and then it’s over. You still have to have a life and to spend time with family, have a focus away from football because we live like this every day when we are fit.”

The Pink Un: Wagner has converted Placheta into a left-back.Wagner has converted Placheta into a left-back. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Birmingham and Eustace’s loss turned out to be David Wagner’s gain, with the German reintegrating Placheta to the first-team setup at Colney this summer.

The 25-year-old, in his head coach’s words “has so many things which excite me”, and is delighted with his improved status under the former Huddersfield Town boss.

He recently described Wagner as a “great manager”, and has his full focus on making a mark in yellow and green.

“Since the first day, I only had in my mind to show myself in the best way I could,” he said. “I think I did well, and from the head coach and the whole staff I got good signs and some things to add to my game.

“That made me feel good. I could think about the areas I need to improve and become a better footballer. The work with the new head coach for me has been really good, and then we started to chat about the new position just before [this summer’s pre-season camp in] Austria.

“For me, I just want to play and enjoy being there on the pitch. I’m available if he wants me to play there. I know my strengths, so I know if I’m playing on the wing I’ll give my best there, and the same if it’s at left-back.

“I really like the new system. Since the first training I thought the tactic was quite interesting, and a good fit for our squad.

“I just need to be focused on improving my game while helping the team.”