Personally headhunted from Brisbane Roar by Torsten Frings - the ex-Germany star in charge of the newly-relegated 2.Bundesliga club - the gun striker has racked up just 72 league minutes so far this season.
That's five appearances off the bench for the club sitting an underwhelming 11th on the ladder after 12 games.
It's not how the script was meant to unfold and has seen Maclaren miss out on recent Socceroos selection, including making the 25-man squad cut to face Honduras in this month's World Cup play-offs.
However, an injury to fellow striker Felix Platte, ahead of Sunday's (AEDT) clash at home to Eintracht Braunschweig could nudge the door ajar for the 24-year-old as he chases an elusive start.
By the same token, an ankle strain suffered by Australia talisman Tim Cahill in Friday night's 1-0 loss to Sydney FC could possibly prompt a Socceroos reprieve, should an MRI reveal significant damage.
Either way, Maclaren insists his confidence and belief are undaunted, and he'll be ready when the opportunity comes, for club or country.
"The Darmstadt squad is full of very good international players and you just have to be ready whenever called upon," said Maclaren, who was last season's joint A-League Golden Boot winner.
"I've seen enough in my time at Blackburn, and even Perth, to tell me that when things aren't going your way you just have train even harder.
"I've got the mentality of staying on the right path.
"Of course it's frustrating not to be playing, you are only human.
"But I've spoken to the boss and he assures me that my time will come.
"He's told me just to stick at it, and he's been around long enough to know that players who aren't playing need to be looked after also."
Maclaren has been in every match-day squad, and takes that as a "positive" at a club whose hopes of bouncing straight back to the Bundesliga are not looking bright at this point of the season.
When Maclaren has played, it's been in a deeper lying attacking role, somewhat removed from his free-scoring A-League days as a number nine.
"It takes a bit of getting used to as I am no longer the closest player to goal," Maclaren said.
"But you have to play your role and adjust to what the coach wants."
While unhappy not to have made the impact he'd hoped to, Maclaren's admiration for Frings hasn't wavered.
"I think the respect runs both ways," he said.
"Obviously you're angry when you don't get game time but he'll speak to you the day afterwards and say 'I know you're pissed off, but today's training session make it good'. And that's what you do.
"He's told me he wants to give me time to settle in, and maybe not throw me straight into the deep end.
"I know my opportunities are around the corner and there's no frustration or tension towards Torsten."
Though missing out on key Socceroos action, Maclaren said that his main focus was on his club football.
"You have to get that right before you start thinking about other things," he said.
"It's a club that has shown a lot of investment in me.
"I'm training in the best possible facilities every day and you can never take that for granted.
"When Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie first came to Germany they didn't have an easy run either.
"For us Aussies in Germany, the world champions, you have to earn that respect.
"I'm up against it in that regard but you look at it as a challenge.
"And they are starting to see here that Australians can play."