The drawn-out signing of Aussie keeper Mitch Langerak by Japanese club Nagoya Grampus has finally been confirmed.
Langerak signs from La Liga outfit Levante UD, whom he’d joined in August last year. The 29-year-old found chances hard to come by in Spain, making one Copa Del Ray appearance for the club.
Grampus were promoted to the J-League last season after finishing third in the Japanese second division, however the club has a large following and rich pedigree within Japan.
Langerak has spent most of his career as a number two, which has drawn some criticism from Socceroos fans for wasting the sizeable potential of the Aussie keeper.
With his spot in the 2018 World Cup squad on the line, Langerak should finally have the opportunity to play first team football in Japan.
Interestingly, he will stay have strong competition within his new club. Current Grampus keeper, Seigo Narazaki, is the club’s vice-captain and has made over 550 league appearances since 1999, in addition to 77 appearances for the Japanese national team.
With Mat Ryan the undisputed Socceroos’ number one, Danny Vukovic playing regularly in Belgium and Brad Jones in the form of his life for Eredivisie champions Feyenoord, the Australian has a very long road ahead for him, but this seems a step in the right direction.
One thing’s for certain; Australia’s goalkeeping stocks are very solid at the moment.