Borussia Mönchengladbach have completed the signing of former Bayer Leverkusen and 1.FC Nürnberg striker Josip Drmic for a reported fee of around €10m. The Swiss international should help die Fohlen to fill the void left by the outgoing Max Kruse (who is Wolfsburg-bound for a sum of around €12m), and will also hope to boost the amount of action he has received in the Bundesliga with a top club, having only made five league starts for die Werkself over the course of the past season.
Drmić has signed a contract until 2019 with Borussia and completed a medical on Wednesday morning. He’s relatively experienced for a player at the age of 22; he’s made 18 appearances for the Swiss national team (scoring four times), while also appearing in the Champions League with Leverkusen (and the preliminary rounds with Zürich in his native Switzerland). But, given that he is just 22, there’s a lot of room for development which hopefully, under Lucien Favre, will be easy to achieve; Max Kruse, who is very much in a similar mould to Josip Drmić in the sense of being a mobile frontman, managed to kick on as a player a vast amount in his two years under Favre’s guidance.
“There are several reasons for the move, which I won’t go into. I’m just very happy that my transfer to Mönchengladbach has gone through and that all parties are pleased. I won’t look back now; I’m only looking at having a successful future with Borussia”, Drmić told the press after the transfer.
Having played for Switzerland, Drmić has described future teammates Yann Sommer and Granit Xhaka, both starters in the national side, as large factors in his move to Niederrhein, telling the club’s official website “We’re friends through the national team, so it’s normal that you’d exchange thoughts before the move and speak a lot about it together. But obviously I also hope that I’ll find new friends within the club, too”.
“Last year we were very interesting in signing Drmić, but he chose to go to Leverkusen instead. We’re excited it’s worked out this time” said Max Eberl of the matter. “Josip is a quick, dangerous attacker who’ll fit well in our team”.
Interestingly, Drmić was a youth player at FC Zürich at the same time as Lucien Favre (as manager) and potential strike-partner Raffael (as a player) were at the club. Whether he knew the dynamic duo personally as a youngster is as yet unclear, but that will be set to change for a player who should become a key cog in the Borussia machine. “I’ll give everything to make as many appearances as possible, and achieve the greatest possible success for the club in the Bundesliga as well as internationally.”
Drmić will wear the number nine for Borussia, last worn by Luuk de Jong. With a proven track record in the Bundesliga – showing moments of brilliance for Leverkusen and, of course, having an excellent season in Franconia for Nürnberg – as well as having a playing style which looks more compatible with Lucien Favre’s side, fans of die Fohlen will be hoping that Eberl has struck gold rather than repeating arguably his only large mistake as Sporting Director thus far. Given that the club have still made a few million from the Kruse/Drmic switch, the early signs are that it’s another masterstroke by Eberl.