New Hearts signing Marcel Langer can’t wait to play at ‘crazy’ Tynecastle

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel captured the signing of 
one of his main targets yesterday when midfielder Marcel Langer joined the Gorgie club from Schalke, initially on loan until the end of the season.

Marcel Langer in action for Schalke. Picture: APA-PictureDesk GmbH/Shutterstock
Marcel Langer in action for Schalke. Picture: APA-PictureDesk GmbH/Shutterstock

The 22-year-old said he had jumped at the opportunity to link up with the manager, who had helped bring out the best in him when he was his youth coach at Hannover 96.

Speaking to Hearts TV, Langer was enthusiastic about the challenge of helping the Tynecastle club turn around a trying season and help them extricate themselves from the relegation dogfight.

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“It was not really a hard decision to make. I like adventures. It’s a new country, a new city and a new language. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“When I played in the youths for Hannover 96 I worked with the manager in the under-19s. We were really successful. We won the under-19s German Cup. It was a good connection.

“The manager called me before New Year’s Eve and, yes, I was really direct – I want to do this. Then we talked with Schalke and the club and now I am here.”

Both manager and player
have had to be patient, though, as the deal took time to progress. But in the meantime Langer kept himself up to date with results at the club and was thrilled by last weekend’s win over Rangers which has given
them the platform to move off the foot of the Premiership table, provided they defeat 
St Johnstone in Perth today.

“I watched the highlights from the Rangers game and the atmosphere was crazy,” he added. “I’m looking forward to playing here in front of 18,000. Normally we play in front of 5,000 in Germany so this is different. This is nice.”

A midfielder who can also operate in a full-back role, he understands he has developed a reputation as a robust and energetic player.

But as one player arrived, another departed the capital club as out-of-favour Christophe Berra completed a loan move to Championship club Dundee.

The former club captain had been deemed surplus to requirements by Stendel and was demoted to the reserves when the squad returned from their recent winter break.

Urged to find a new club as Hearts sought to free up some of their wage bill, the 34-year-old who made 250 appearances across two spells at Hearts will now look to help James McPake’s Dens Park side claim promotion.