Pierre-Michel Lasogga looked a little lost in the aftermath of last weekend’s 2-1 loss at Sheffield United.
A good 15 minutes after the full-time whistle, the Leeds United striker took to the Bramall Lane pitch, seemingly scaling the surface for a lost possession.
A lost shin pad it transpired, an item personalised for the German and bearing the individual names of his closest family.
Most of that family remain back in Germany where Lasogga is contracted until the summer of 2019 at Hamburg.
As things stand, the 26-year-old will be returning to the Bundesliga side when his season-long loan spell expires but after some improved recent performances there are plenty of Whites fans who would like the big striker to stay.
“#SignLasogga” is the latest Whites movement on social media, the mention of which causes United’s loanee no 9 to break into a big beaming smile.
And while Lasogga will refuse to contemplate his future until the summer, there is no doubt the feeling is mutual with the striker definitely falling for life with Leeds.
Lasogga joined United on a season-long loan in August and the forward’s commitment to the Whites cause was immediately highlighted when the German still stepped out for United the following month over the same weekend that his girlfriend was expecting the couple’s first child.
As it happened, back home in Germany, baby Milou Emilia was born the Friday night before United enjoyed a 3-2 win at home to Ipswich Town in September in which Lasogga scored his third goal of the campaign. Five more goals have followed since and for Lasogga life off the pitch has also progressed since with his partner and baby daughter having now relocated to Leeds.
A permanent transfer to Elland Road would be the footballing move that plenty of Whites followers would now desire but Lasogga says he owes it to his team-mates and club’s fans to stay focussed on the here and now, even if his growing passion and enthusiasm for Leeds United and the club’s supporters is impossible to hide.
Lasogga explained: “It’s a special time for me and of course I am very happy that the fans stand behind me like this. It’s not normal I don’t think.
“I am very confident when they say something like this but my decision is not now in my head. After the season I will sit together with my family and we will speak about the situation.
“I have one year on my contract in Hamburg so I have to speak first with them and then we will see what happens in the summer.
“It’s not decided where I am going after the summer so my focus is on now and here playing for Leeds and playing the next games and giving my best for this club.
“The fans and my team mates deserve it that I focus 100 per cent on this moment now because it’s very important that I have a free head and not think ‘what will happen in the summer.’ I will decide everything after the last game.”
For now, the only focus for Lasogga is on the next game and the German readily admits that tomorrow’s hosting of sixth-placed Bristol City is hugely important to United’s play-offs hopes. Leeds, who sit 11th, are eight points behind the Robins in that coveted final play-off place.
Lasogga admitted: “We want to win every game but it’s important on Sunday against Bristol because it’s an opponent for us to get in the play-offs.
“Normally I am very confident that we can play the play-offs but the last games or the last month was not so good for us. We have not won so many games and the last one was the Burton game and to go in the play-offs we have to win the next games. It’s a very important game against Bristol. I hope we will win this game and get near to the play-off places.”
Nearer the play-offs, and with his nearest and dearest also now closer to his football team, with Lasogga beaming about the fact that his girlfriend and baby daughter are now with him in England.
“They enjoy it, it’s nice, they like the city and my little girl is growing up every day,” beamed the striker. “It’s nice and I am very happy that they are here.
“The rest of my family are still in Germany but they try to come to every match at home so it’s nice to have the whole family near by me.”
Reflective of his growing relationship with United’s fans, the striker has even been handed his missing shin pad back after winger Stuart Dallas advised his team-mate to send out a Tweet appealing to supporters to find the missing item and send it back.
“My shin pad is back and I am happy,” smiled Lasogga. “It was very important for me. They are personalised for me and there are the names of my girlfriend, my mother, my brothers and sister and everything so it’s important. I scored my goals with this so it will be not good when I have to change something!
“There was a person who said the ground staff found my shin pad and gave it to her so I am happy that the person who found it sent it back to me and of course I will give her a signed shirt. I am very happy that she sent it back. When you have something that feels good to you, you have to use it and it didn’t feel too good when it was gone. I scored in the last game so it’s better that the shin pad is back now.”