When goalkeeper Daniel Schmidt lines up between the posts on Saturday night, he will be wearing Vegalta Sendai's crest for the last time.

The 27-year-old's next stop will be Europe after agreeing on a full transfer to Belgium's Sint-Truiden earlier this month.

While he's far from the only Japan international to go overseas this summer, in a way he is one of the most important as the country grapples for solutions to its ever-thinning depth at the goalkeeper position.