‘Rijeka fought for me’ - City loanee so grateful for second chance

Josip Drmic of Norwich and Kurt Zouma of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match at Stamfo

Josip Drmic started as already relegated Norwich battled to a 1-0 loss at Chelsea in July 2020 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Josip Drmic feels like he is ‘back in the family’ after returning to Rijeka, acknowledging the faith that the Croatian side showed in him after his Norwich City move turned sour. 

The 28-year-old Switzerland international joined in January and after an initially slow start scored seven goals in 18 games to help earn third place and qualification for the Europa Conference League. 

“Rijeka fought for me and the wish was for me to stay in the club,” he told Rijeka’s website. 

“The club was with me when it was the hardest for me and I will always be grateful to everyone in Rijeka for that.  

“They did their best, they showed the desire and will to bring me back and that is something that meant a lot to me as a player and a person.” 

Drmic joined Norwich on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2019 but managed just three goals in 24 appearances thanks to injury and suspension, before being frozen out of Daniel Farke’s squad after relegation from the Premier League. 

He continued: “I am very satisfied and I am happy to be in Rijeka again. I feel like I’m back in the family.  

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“Everyone was positive and happy about my arrival, I think some of the teammates were a little surprised because they may not have thought that it would be realized.” 

MORE: The 'unwanted' Drmic and a sour City spell

Rijeka’s league season starts on July 17 when they host Gorica but the former Bayer Leverkusen striker says he will be ready thanks to “a week of preparation in Norwich” before his season-long loan was confirmed, for the final year of his City contract. 

Drmic’s form in Croatia – where he has family roots – saw him placed on standby as injury cover for the Euros by Switzerland and he hopes joining during pre-season will allow him to continue his positive form. 

“I arrived during the championship and that is why I am glad to be here already at this stage so that I can prepare as much as possible and play with my teammates,” he added. 

“Of course, I hope for as many goals as possible, and as many victories for Rijeka as possible." 

MORE: City ensure squad stability but Cantwell doubt remains

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