City outcast banging in the goals
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City striker Josip Drmic cannot stop scoring for HNK Rijeka after his sour spell at Carrow Road.
The on-loan Swiss international has eight in 11 games so far this season to fire Rijeka top of the Croatian league, after re-joining the club in the summer to see out the final 12 months of his Canaries’ contract.
The 29-year-old managed just three Norwich goals in 24 appearances, following his arrival on a free transfer following City's previous promotion to the Premier League in 2019.
Ironically one of those came at this weekend’s opponents, Burnley, in an FA Cup win and the Clarets were also the opponents for his last senior Norwich appearance, when he was sent off in the final home game of that relegation season.
Drmic was a bit-part figure behind Teemu Pukki but is central to Rijeka’s surprise title quest, with league goals already against the likes of Hadjuk Split and Dinamo Zagreb.
“I'm on the right track. And as a team we are on the right track,” he said. “Without the team, I wouldn't be able to score all those goals. I was just in the right place at the right time, I am a striker and I have to score goals. I want to turn every chance into a goal, but I can't do it alone, I also need the support of my team mates.
"Without good balls and assists, it will be difficult for the attacker to score on his own.
“I'm eager for games and goals. I want to win every game and present myself in the best possible light.
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"I don’t just want to run out on the pitch, enjoy and relax, but to prove myself just about every game. I want to show my best in every game. I would rather die than hide in the game."
Drmic was linked with Huddersfield and Birmingham before joining Rijeka originally in the January transfer window.
HNK already want to sign the ex-Bundesliga attacker permanently when his Norwich deal runs out, but recently appointed sporting director, Robert Palikuća, accepts there is likely to be competition.
“I would say (our chances are) 50 - 50. We have agreed a contract for after this season, but we are not in a position to satisfy everyone,” he said, speaking on Radio Rijeka and reported in Croatian newspaper Novi List. “He wants to score goals and lead the team to victory.
"This is seen in every training session, every game. He will surely leave if he is offered a chance to advance. However, there is already a signed contract with Rijeka for the next season, but we have an agreement that we will not prevent it if other opportunities happen.”