Having already represented seven clubs across three countries at just 23, Ermedin Demirović has had an unorthodox beginning to his career. However, at Freiburg the Bosnian looks poised to now kick on and fill out his glaring potential.
A Hamburg native, Demirović was in the prestigious Hamburger SV youth set up from a young age, before being poached by RB Leipzig as a 16-year-old. Demirović was prolific at youth level for Leipzig tallying 51 goal contributions across 82 appearances, in the meantime he had also scored 13 times for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s national youth sides, further cementing his place on the watchlist of scouts across Europe.
Having made just one appearance, in which he scored in for RB Leipzig II, Demirović jumped at the chance to play first team football at just 19 by signing for La Liga side Alavés on a four-year deal. In limited appearances, partly because of registration complications, Demirović kept up an impressive record in Spain with six goals in 12 for Alaves B and scoring four times in just six appearances for the first team. Forgettable loan spells to Sochaux and Almeria followed until 2019/20 where Swiss Super League side St. Gallen took Demirović on loan for the 19/20 season. This proved to be the best season of Demirović’s career so far with 14 goals and seven assists in 28 games confirming that Demirović was indeed ready to be playing regular senior football, as St. Gallen finished second ahead of Basel and thus secured Europa league qualification.
Freiburg were convinced by Demirović’s excellent season in Switzerland and parted ways with around €4m to acquire Demirović from Alavés. Demirović excelled once more this season just gone putting up solid numbers with five goals and 10 assists in 31 Bundesliga games. This is made more impressive considering Demirović is still young and finding his feet in a top five league, having only had the season prior where he was playing regularly. His attacking work was more productive than it seems on paper as Demirović contributed to a fifth of Freiburg overall goals scored in the Bundesliga last season.
Demirović is a true handful for defenders. At 6’1” Demirović won 2.7 aerial duels in the 2020/21 season. The Bosnian is also an extremely mobile forward who works hard when leading the line. A prime example of this is the fact that Demirović made nearly 23 pressures per 90 last season, he also contributes well in his own half being in the top 5% of Bundesliga forwards when it comes to blocks made and clearances.
With 10 assists last season and seven assists the season prior in Switzerland, it is evident that Demirović has an eye for a pass and possesses natural creativity. One of Demirović’s most standout displays last season came against FC Köln in which many of his strengths were on show for all to see. In a 5-0 home win, Demirović showed great aggression and tenacity to score the opener, lofting the ball over the on rushing keeper and then beating the last defender in the air to head into an empty net. For Freiburg’s third goal Demirović got to the byline, skipping beyond two players before pulling the ball back for a simple finish. Later in the second half he turned provider again looping a header to the back post to be nodded in by his teammate with ease.
Demirović’s only real improvements should be in his finishing. The 23-year-old showed before that he is a clean striker of the ball, but he must take more chances outside the six-yard box and improve his finishing to seriously take his game to the next level. Having said that, Demirović will never get a true abundance of chances from open play with Freiburg and his output in terms of goals and assists is more than respectable for a striker who does plenty of defensive ‘dog work’ for his side.
He is a unique mould of striker who combines technical ability and creative awareness with his physical prowess to really play up to his strengths. If he remains a focal point for Freiburg next season you would only expect him to progress and as a result firmly put himself on the radar of a club playing European football. With four senior caps to his name Bosnian fans should also be following Demirović’s career keenly with the forward looking most likely to take up Edin Džeko’s throne as the nations leading frontman and attacking talisman.