Josip Drmic Officially Signed by Bayer Leverkusen to End Arsenal Interest

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2014

Nuremberg's Josip Drmic of Switzerland , right, and Schalke's Joel Matip of Cameroon challenge for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and 1. FC Nuremberg in Gelsenkirchen,  Germany, Saturday, May 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Leverkusen have confirmed the signing of Josip Drmic from FC Nurnberg on a five-year deal.

The Swiss international striker had been linked with a move to Arsenal but has chosen to continue his career in Germany after scoring 17 goals in his maiden Bundesliga campaign.

Confirmation of the deal was posted by Leverkusen’s official Twitter account and Squawka Football:

Nurnberg’s relegation from the Bundesliga was confirmed at the weekend as they were thumped 4-1 by FC Schalke; even Drmic's stunning exploits were unable to save them from the trap door. 

The 21-year-old has shone throughout the course of the season after his transfer from FC Zurich last summer, naturally attracting the attention of some of Europe’s most illustrious outfits. Here are some key stats from Drmic's breakthrough season:

Josip Drmic: Bundesliga Statistics 2013/14
Appearances (Sub)GoalsAssistsKey Passes Per GameDribbles Per Game
30 (3)17312.2

Arsenal were rumoured to be interested in constructing a deal for Drmic, per Jure Bohoric of Sky Sports, but he’ll make the move to the BayArena instead.

While he is undoubtedly an exciting prospect, after another season in which their title challenge has wilted, Gunners supporters may be looking for bigger names and players a little more established than Drmic. It's a view shared by Gunnerblog:

For Leverkusen, the acquisition of Drmic is a major coup. They’ll be losing Sidney Sam to Schalke in the summer, and the capture of the Swiss international will go a long way to filling the void left by the departing German international.

Drmic is a versatile forward, capable of operating anywhere across the front line. You suspect that he’ll complete an exciting attacking triumvirate, with Stefan Kiessling and Son Heung-min likely to join him in spearheading Bayer’s attack for the 2014/15 season.

Here's a bit of what Leverkusen fans can look forward to next season:

It’s a move that makes a great deal of sense for all concerned. Drmic can not only establish himself in the Bundesliga with Leverkusen—where his goals could help Bayer close the gap on Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund—but also learn his trade in the Champions League too.

With the World Cup on the horizon—where Drmic is expected to play a key role for the Swiss—and Europe’s top competition lying in wait next season, it’s set to be a vital spell in Drmic’s relatively young career. It’ll be fascinating to see how his game fares and develops now his stock has ascended from relative unknown to one of European football’s most exciting young prospects.