Socceroos attacker Robbie Kruse has joined Vfb Stuttgart on a season-long loan from fellow Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen as deadline day for transfers looms around Europe.
Kruse might have expected to enjoy more playing time at the BayArena this season following the sale of star forward and direct rival Son Heung-min to Tottenham Hotspur.
The 26-year-old came off the bench in Leverkusen's 3-0 league defeat at Bayern Munich on Saturday and also made a substitute appearance in last week's UEFA Champions League qualifier triumph.
Instead the former Fortuna Dusseldorf star has joined Socceroos teammate Mitch Langerak at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, with the player and club having the option to make the move permanent.
Langerak signed for Stuttgart from Borussia Dortmund in June but is yet to play for Die Roten after the goalkeeper underwent surgery for a knee cyst last week which is set to sideline him for eight weeks.
Kruse meanwhile is still working his way back to full fitness after suffering a serious ankle injury in the Asian Cup final against South Korea in January.
"I'm really looking forward to this new challenge with Stuttgart and I would like to play my part in ensuring we enjoy better sporting fortunes in the coming weeks and months," Kruse told the Stuttgart website.
Stuttgart's sporting director Robin Dutt hailed the capture of the Socceroos regular: "He has been involved in all of pre-season for Leverkusen and has played a few times this season.
"With his pace and mobility, he is a perfect addition for our game."
Kruse, who will wear the No.9 shirt, has been restricted to just four starts and 21 league appearances in total during him time at Leverkusen over the past three seasons.
The former Melbourne Victory winger was named in the Socceroos squad to play Bangladesh and Tajikistan in FIFA World Cup qualifiers this week but was withdrawn on Friday as he seeks to regain match fitness.
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