Bundesliga News

Schalke sign Heekeren and extend with Langer

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

Newly promoted FC Schalke 04 confirmed two transactions involving goalkeepers on Thursday. 
Justin Heekeren.
Justin Heekeren. Photo: FC Schalke 04
FC Schalke 04 made yesterday's rumored signing of Rot-Weiß Oberhausen keeper Justin Heekeren official on Thursday. The 21-year-pold inked a contract good through 2025. In statements accompanying the signing, club officials confirmed that the youngster would be introduced slowly into the team's program and thereby did not satisfy the ongoing search for a new #1.

Head-coach Frank Kramer noted that Heekeren would first report to the U23s. Sporting director Rouven Schröder emphasized that the club considered the new signing a long-term prospect by stressing that "he will be eased in slowly over time."

"The opportunity to prove myself daily in the training seessions of a Bundesliga team is a big and exciting chance for me," Heekeren noted in his own statement, "I will approach with this challenge with full conviction and great passion."

After the release of the promotion campaign's starting keeper, Schalke retain only two veteran net-minders on the roster: Ralf Fährmann (33) and Michael Langer (37). Both of these keepers did get starts in-between the sticks during Schalke's 2020/21 relegation campaign. Fährmann has actually made 218 top flight appearances.

Earlier in the day, Schalke did also confirm that they had extended the contract of 37-year-old Langer for one more season. The veteran will thus represent the Köningsblauen for the sixth consecutive season. In statements on that signing, however, Schröder made clear that Langer's role will be that of a back-up.

"[Langer} will be taking courses in scouting, training, and management," Schröder noted, "This should give Michael the opportunity to come up with concrete ideas for his life after his active footballing career."

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