New Melbourne City man Ritchie De Laet didn’t need to think twice about coming to Australia.
De Laet joins City on a season-long loan deal from Aston Villa and reunites with current head coach and former Manchester United mentor Warren Joyce.
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The 29-year-old says talking with Caltex Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak, as well as former Melbourne City marksman Ross McCormack, prompted his decision to head down under.
“I wanted something completely new,” De Laet told Melbourne City’s official website.
“I knew the gaffer here as well and I spoke a little bit to Ross [McCormack] who was here last season and Mile [Jedinak].
“They told me it’s a great place to be, so when the opportunity came I grabbed it.”
De Laet played 12 times in Leicester City’s 2015/16 Premier League winning campaign and has also plied his trade for a number of prominent English clubs such as Sheffield United, Portsmouth, Norwich City and Middlesbrough.
The Antwerp-born defender achieved the unique feat of winning Championship promotion and a Premier League title win in 2015/16 after finishing the season on loan at Boro.
After close to a decade in England the twice-capped Belgium international says he’s relishing a change of scenery in the Hyundai A-League.
“When Warren called me I was ready for something completely new, then I didn’t need a second phone call off anyone. I was ready to come out here.
“It’s definitely a club that’s on the up and going places. It’d be great to be a part of something great over here.”