Hamburg are set to turn to partial-sighted reserve striker Mattia Maggio in their Bundesliga game against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday.
• Hesse: Something in reserve
Mirko Slomka’s side are second bottom and in real danger of relegation from the German top flight for the first time in their history.
Slomka, their third coach of the season, appeared to have helped them turn a corner when they beat Borussia Dortmund 3-0 on Feb. 22, but since then they have only taken five points from six league games to add to their struggles.
Having conceded 59 goals, the second-highest tally in the division behind Hoffenheim, they were reliant on the goalscoring prowess of Pierre-Michel Lasogga before he suffered a muscular injury while on international duty with Germany in March.
The 22-year-old is yet to return to action leading Slomka to call up Maggio, 20, who has compared himself to Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
However, the half-Italian has scored eight goals in the last 12 reserve games and will hope to add to the woes of Leverkusen, who have won only once in 11 games.
Of his partial-sightedness, Maggio told Muehlacker Tagblatt, a local paper from the region he grew up in, in 2011: “I have adapted to it by now. I need to turn my head to keep track of things on my left side.
“I can play everything in attack. You can find me in the box, on the left and on the right. I am an attacker just like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”