Edin Dzeko’s City career was almost certainly over as last season drew to a close but the arrival of Manual Pellegrini has ensured that the Bosnian will get a second chance to prove his worth in Manchester.
After months of indifferent form and a lack of first team football last season, it seemed Roberto Mancini was ready to cash in on Dzeko and move him on. Speculation was rife as to where Dzeko was heading, with Borussia Dortmund named as the most likely destination. There was also talk that Dzeko would be used as a makeweight in the potential transfer of Mancini’s number one target, Edinson Cavani, from Napoli. All in all, one thing seemed certain: Dzeko’s two and half years in Manchester was over.
Since the arrival of Pellegrini, his future seems a lot more secure. After City played Sunderland in the final of the Asia Trophy in Hong Kong on Saturday, Pellegrini confirmed as much, saying:
Everyone was talking before I arrived that we will bring in [Edinson] Cavani, [Robert] Lewandowski, all those players. But I always trusted in Edin Dzeko and he is now playing the way I want. I am sure he will continue improving.
Couple that with the Manager’s desire to have two players for each position and it would seem Dzeko is staying. With Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo as City’s other main strikers, it would be fair to assume that Dzeko is the fourth, given that John Guidetti spent last season battling back to fitness after a rare illness.
There is reason for City supporters to be optimistic as well. After all, Dzeko can be an excellent player when he applies himself and gets the right service, especially from wide positions where he prospers. Take the 5-1 against Tottenham in 2011 when Dzeko scored four goals – three of the assists were from wide positions. More often than not, however, Dzeko was a victim of Mancini’s narrow attacking style and looked horribly out of place most of the time. His poor first touch did little to help his cause and it was little surprise to see Dzeko heading for the exit.
Pellegrini’s style of play will be more suited to a player like Dzeko and it seems he is set to give the player a new lease of life. The use of wingers will provide City with an attacking threat that was almost non-existent last season and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Dzeko prosper. For all of Dzeko’s aerial ability, it is difficult to fathom how little City have tried to exploit that during his time in Manchester. It is understandable that Pellegrini doesn’t want to let him go as there is potential there and he clearly feels he can unleash it. Let’s not forget, Pellegrini got Roque Santa Cruz scoring at Malaga last season, which is no mean feat, so who’s to say he cannot make the most out of Dzeko.
Written by Robert Toole