Sam Allardyce reportedly flew out to Germany last Saturday to watch FC Nurnberg’s top goal scorer in their match against Wolfsburg.
The man in question is Josip Drmic, the Switzerland international is in just his first season at FC Nurnberg since joining the Bundesliga outfit last July. Like most West Ham fans, I’d never heard of him, so just who is he? Josip Drmic doesn’t have the most Swiss of surnames, and that’s because he is of Croatian descent but was raised in Switzerland.
He was spotted as a youth player by top Swiss side – FC Zurich. After spending eight years in the youth set-up, Drmic got his first chance to represent the club at senior level, playing for the FC Zurich II’s. It was here that Drmic’s goal-scoring nous came into effect as he ended his first season with 26 goals in his 26 appearances for the seconds.
This prompted Drmic to get a call-up to the FC Zurich first team aged just 17. He scored his first goal for the first team two seasons later after a rather sporadic time and scored 13 league goals in his final season with FC Zurich before his move to Germany. Drmic also represented Switzerland for the first time aged 17, making just one appearance for the Under18’s.
He swiftly moved onto the Under-19’s and scored six goals in seven appearances. He scored another six goals for the Under-21’s and recently earned himself a callup to the Switzerland senior team, and scored his first two goals against Croatia in March 2014. FC Nurnberg signed Drmic on a four-year contract last July, and in his first season Drmic has scored 16 league goals in 28 appearances, making him joint-second in the league top scorers, just one goal behind Bundesliga “superstars” Mario Mandzukic and Robert Lewandowski.
All that, and he is just 21 years of age, combined with the fact that he’s playing for a side sitting in one of the automatic relegation spots, will certainly create high interest around Europe. We are therefore certainly going to face immense competition. But we are in the fight for him and with the pulling power of London to hand – we always stand a chance.