It’s been an up & down time for Edin Dzeko since arriving in England and playing for Manchester City. His scoring numbers are pretty much consistent with the rest of his career, but it always feels like there’s so much more he can give the team, and maybe under a new manager, entering his fourth season with the team, we’ll finally see him feel confident about his place in the lineup, and his production rise accordingly.
Dzeko scored twice for City in their 5-3 win over AC Milan in the Audi Cup. It shouldn’t be too celebrated of a victory: City are further ahead than Milan in their preparations, and fielded a much stronger side that the Italians. But it has been impossible to ignore Dzeko this offseason, who seems to feel that with Pellegrini in charge, his chances of seeing continuous first team football are much greater than ever before.
After an amazing start to last season as a super-sub, Dzeko fell into a long stretch of inconsistency. He scored 14 goals in 32 matches, but in 16 of them he came off the bench, and has only 9 complete matches from start to finish all season. Dzeko is also someone who feeds on the ability of the creative midfield, be it in crosses or with the ball on the ground, and one of City’s biggest problems last season was the ability of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Samir Nasri, which was very far from their championship-season performances.
On a good day, Dzeko is one of the best strikers in Europe. He is one of the few quality target men, or “real 9’s”, left around, with the ability to score in more than one specific way, and having no problem playing as the pivot in an attack. City have been a two-striker team for quite a long time, with Sergio Aguero being the number one choice as long as he’s healthy, while Tevez and Dzeko rotated next to him when he was healthy.
This season Tevez is gone, while Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic have arrived. The competition for the starting position is on, but it seems like Dzeko has a leg up over the others at the moment, simply for his familiarity with the Premier League. As long as he keeps the goals coming, it shouldn’t be a problem for him to keep his starting job.
But how good can Dzeko be? He scored 58 goals in his final 83 matches for Wolfsburg, and that was the kind of scoring rate City expected from him when they paid £27 million for him in 2011. Dzeko doesn’t seem to lack anything the top scorer in the Premier League have except for job security. This season that should change, while the arrival of Pellegrini should give the midfield a better idea of what to do on the pitch. During the Mancini time, especially the bad days, everything seemed to random and accidental, which projected badly on the entire team.
Edin Dzeko might be heading to his first major tournament, leading Bosnia in a sensational qualifying campaign so far. In what might be his biggest season on the international stage, it seems fitting that he’ll finally have his big Premier League season.