Andrej Kramaric, 23, joined Leicester City for a Club record £9 million in January but has, so far, struggled in the Premier League. There’s no doubt the Croatian striker is a very talented player as his record proves and it could be only a matter of time before he shows the Foxes what he can do and why Nigel Pearson broke Leicester’s transfer record to bring him to the East Midlands.
Andrej Kramaric can yet be ‘Fox in the box’ for Leicester City……… Given time.
As a Six year old, Kramaric, was signed by Hometown Club, Dinamo Zagreb in 1997. He amassed 450 goals during his rise through the youth ranks, making him one of the best youth strikers in history. He soon found himself joining the senior setup, making his debut against local rivals NK Zagreb. He would go on to score 30 goals in 87 appearances for Dinamo and a loan spell with NK Lokomotiva between 2009 and 2013.
His time at Dinamo, However, turned sour as the young striker saw his first team chances limited and he expressed his disappointment to the Croatian press. Club Director Zoran Mamic was not best pleased at the way Kramaric handled the situation and placed him on the transfer list.
Rival Croatian side, HNK Reijka, were first to react and boss Matjez Kek signed Kramaric on 31st August 2013. The striker didn’t waste any time in repaying the faith showed by his new manager, scoring within fifteen minutes of his debut in a 1-0 win over Salven Belypo.
The Five foot Eleven front-man continued his impressing goal-scoring form as he went on to bag a hat-trick against Dutch side Feyenoord Rotterdam in the Europa League and Five more in a 6-0 thrashing of NK Lokomotiva in the Croatian League.
A call-up to the senior national side followed and Kramaric seem to fit in straight away after setting up a goal and scoring himself in games against Cyprus and Malta respectively. His National coach, Niko Kovac, was so impressed with the young forward he compared Kramaric to the legendary Croatia hero, Davor Suker.
His 37 goals in 42 games for HNK Reijka persuaded the Foxes boss to sign Kramaric for Leicester City, in the search for much needed goals in his creative team as they looked to survive their first season back in the Premier League in ten years.
Leicester’s fight to stage Premier League football at the King Power Stadium next season looks to be coming to fruition after a Riyad Mahrez double in a 2-0 win over Ronald Keoman’s Southampton moved the Foxes up to 15th and three points clear of the drop-zone in the Premier League table.
Leicester fans who are worried about Andrej Kramaric’s struggle to find the net, despite the fact his chances in games have been limited, may look to Jamie Vardy for reassurance. Englishman Vardy had a similar experience when he was signed by Nigel Pearson from Fleetwood Town for £1 million in May 2012 but after adjusting to his new surroundings and team-mates at the King Power Stadium, he looks every bit a Leicester City player.
Given time, Andrej Kramaric may yet be the ‘One to Watch’ for Leicester City next season.