Cologne – With the 2015/16 Bundesliga season just around the corner, we figured it prime time to take a closer look at some of the German top flight's most talked about summer signings.
Next up we focus on the Foals and their marquee summer signing Josip Drmic.
Filling Kruse's boots?
Due to the terms of his expiring two-year loan move from Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Gladbach already knew that they would lose Christoph Kramer this summer. What they had not necessarily reckoned with, however, was losing Max Kruse, the sure-fire German international whose departure had many perplexed as to who an adequate replacement would be. In Drmic, they managed to solve the problem swiftly with sporting director Max Eberl wrapping up the deal early on in the transfer window.
Last year was a rather average year for Drmic with Die Werkself. After netting 17 goals in his maiden Bundesliga season with relegated 1. FC Nürnberg, the Swiss forward arrived in Leverkusen with a strong seal of approval, yet he was unable to oust Stefan Kießling from the Bayer attack and made only five Bundesliga appearances in the starting XI.
Drmic's strengths: fine finisher with excellent quota
In spite of his limited opportunities, Drmic was still able to convince in the short time he had on the field. He ended the season with six goals, the result of just 21 shots on goal. While the Swiss international scored a goal every 132 minutes, Kießling needed 286 minutes for each of his goals. The 23-year-old further underlined his qualities in front of goal, by converting three out of four big chances, making him particularly reliable.
Drmic gives Lucien Favre several options – he can play as the out-and-out striker with Raffael and Lars Stindl playing in the pocket, or as part of a variable front-line with Raffael and Patrick Herrmann flanking him. He also brings with him UEFA Champions League experience, which the Foals are certainly in need of ahead of their first campaign in the competition. Drmic's first objective though will be to hit the ground running in the Foals
By Karol Herrmann, Tobias Anding and Ben Gladwell