It's strange describing the 59 cap Socceroo as a veteran, with the pacey winger often flying under the radar among Australia's smattering of European high-flyers.

But now hitting the peak of his career, the fact remains; there isn't an Aussie playing regularly for a bigger club anywhere in the world. While we're talking about facts, with nine goals, Leckie is the highest active Socceroos goal scorer. Let that sink in for a while.

Like many of the fluttering Aussie diaspora in Germany's hedonistic haven, Leckie's time in Berlin has been filled with amazing highs and devastating come downs.

After a flying start that saw the Aussie score a brace on debut, Leckie created a successful, if not slightly patchy, entrance to the seventh-placed Bundesliga side. He ultimately made 26 appearances in his first season and scored five goals.

But after establishing himself as first-choice right midfield throughout the 2017/18 season, the 27-year-old has been enduring a second season hangover at the Berlin club - Leckie played less than 90 minutes over the first 11 games this season.

Meanwhile the German first division's sole representatives of the nation's capital were flying, pushing as far as the top four. Leckie's sparse strike rate has previously been an issue, with the Aussie only hitting the back of the net once this season, with assists equally hard to come by.

But a sharp dip in form, culminating in a demolition at the hands of newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf, has prompted a shift change at the Olympiastadion with coach Pal Dardai making Leckie the principal benefactor.

Dardai's always been a coach that relies heavily on speed and that's worked heavily in the Australians favour.

"It's nice he's back in," Dardai said after throwing the winger into the deep end a few weeks ago against Bayern Munich.

"He'll have to do a few extra runs to build up his fitness and then we'll keep looking." 

The Australian has now started and played at least 80 minutes in each of the last four matches, roughly tripling his entire season's minutes until this point, and the timing couldn't be better - or more necessary - for his national team.

With a dearth of game-winning quality across the forward third, Leckie's potential as a goal-scorer for the Socceroos (something few would have imagined 30 matches into the winger's career) has become crucial.

But even more importantly, with the retirement of Tim Cahill and key injuries to the talismanic Aaron Mooy and Daniel Arzani, Leckie will be expected to lead his country as a role model.

It's not that Australia are lacking options on the wings, there's even a glut of promising  Aussies - think Awer Mabil, Craig Goodwin, Andrew Nabbout, Dimitri Petratos - that would relish that chance. 

But Leckie's role has now surpassed simply delivering on the lofty potential he's always possessed, into becoming an inspiring figure within the dressing room. After Mat Ryan, he's arguably the first name on the team sheet.

This is reflected in his international statistics. 60 caps puts Leckie among the likes of John Kosmina, Milan Ivanovic, Stan Lazaridis, Attila Abonyi and Jason Culina, figures he's set to far surpass.

After drawing criticism over the first third of his Socceroos career, then fading in and out of the limelight thereafter, it's time to show that he's always belonged.