Under 21 International Makes SK Rapid Move

22-year-old forward Christoph Lang has joined SK Rapid Wien for a fee believed to be around the €600,000 mark.

Lang has spent the first half of the season on loan with Hartberg, who have been the surprise package in this season’s Austrian Bundesliga. He joins Die Grün-Weißen as they sit five points behind his former loan club and 13 points behind the selling club, Sturm Graz.

Lang has been impressive in the first half of the season. He bagged five goals and added four assists in his 20 league and cup matches. On top of that, he’s appeared 12 times for Austria’s Under 21 side since 2022, scoring four times.

“Christoph Lang has made himself interesting beyond our national borders with strong performances in the Bundesliga and in the U21 national team, and I am all the more pleased that we can now welcome him into our midst,” said Rapid’s sporting director, Markus Katzer. “As a young Austrian player who also has plenty of professional experience, he fits our requirements profile perfectly. I am sure that he will be an important part of our team because of his potential and his attitude.”

Lang came through the youth ranks at Sturm Graz, appearing for their B team. He had an impressive record, scoring 24 goals in 43 outings, but has only appeared 12 times for the senior side.

A loan spell with SV Reid brought 15 outings and three goals, which caused HArtberg to pick him up on loan at the beginning of the season. He’s been a revelation for Markus Schopp‘s side, helping push them into contention for a European place.

“I know that Styrian footballers have a long tradition at SK Rapid and I will do everything I can to join this venerable ranks in the next few years,” he said on completing his move. “I’m looking forward to the first sessions with the coaching team and my new teammates.”

Round 18 of the Austrian season doesn’t start until February, with Rapid due to travel to WAC in their first game back from the winter break.

Site Opinion

Rapid are 32-time champions of Austria, but they haven’t won the title in more than 15 years. They’re 14-time Austrian Cup winners but haven’t lifted that since the mid-nineties. They need a spark, and there’s hope that bright young thing Lang could provide that.

They’re in danger of missing out on Europe for the first time since the 2019/20 season, and that would be unthinkable. Whilst there have been few domestic trophies to speak of in recent seasons, they have enjoyed some big European nights – beating Villarreal and Ajax, two of which spring to mind.

Can the youngster help them back towards their glory days? In turn, can he find a route form the Under 21 setup into the Austrian national side? It remains to be seen.

 

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