Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Stuttgart: Australia international Robbie Kruse has joined VfB Stuttgart on loan from Bayer Leverkusen in a move that sees the 26-year-old winger link up with Socceroos team-mate Mitch Langerak, another recent recruit at Die Roten (the Reds).
AFC Asian Cup 2015 champion Kruse (pictured), who went off injured 71 minutes into the final against Korea Republic to be replaced by match-winner James Troisi, has been mainly used as a substitute at Leverkusen recently as he continues his recovery from the ankle injury he sustained at Stadium Australia back in January and will be hoping for more game time under new Stuttgart coach Alexander Zorniger.
Langerak, meanwhile, will have to wait up to two months to make his Bundesliga bow for Stuttgart with the 27-year-old goalkeeper requiring surgery to remove a cyst from the back of his knee. It’s the second blow for the former Melbourne Victory shot-stopper since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund at the end of June after sustaining a minor thigh tear during pre-season.
Neither Langerak, who was understudy to first-choice keeper Mat Ryan at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, nor Kruse have been included in the Australia squad that will face Bangladesh and Tajikistan in the Socceroos’ forthcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifiers due to injury.