Man City may have splashed the cash in the transfer market and even though all of their purchases have been attacking minded players, I think it is a player that was already at the club who may become a key member of their new look squad. I have always believed Edin Dzeko is a player of immense quality without really ever showing it, yet despite not reaching the proverbial heights he scaled when playing in Germany, I am very much hopeful this season the big Bosnian can prove me right, and all of his doubters wrong.
The arrival of Negredo and Jovetic especially would have been cause for concern for Dzeko, and this fierce new competition for a position upfront would have been even more worrying given that Aguero seems to have finally regained full fitness. However, Dzeko was prevalent in Manuel Pellegrini’s pre season fixtures and has found himself playing the majority of their first two Premier League fixtures, from which I believe people are noticing a change in attitude and approach from the striker. For instance, his performance against Newcastle displayed all of the qualities that I love about Dzeko: his first touch, silky and smooth 99% of the time; his aerial ability, in which he combines an impressive leap and deftness of touch when using his head; his ability with both feet, something that makes him a persistent threat from wherever he is on the pitch; and finally his movement, a part of his game that has always been underrated and not necessarily praised due to this lack of goals. The only thing missing from the Newcastle game was a goal for Dzeko and this was very much down to one unfortunate slip and finding Tim Krul in inspired form (without him it could have reached 7 or 8 nil). However we saw how clinical the Bosnian can be against Cardiff in which an intelligent and crafty piece of interplay with Aguero led to a thunderous right foot pile driver, rising splendidly into the top corner of the goal.
That strike on Sunday in conjunction with his effort and intent shown against Newcastle showed me that Dzeko means business this season, and despite Man City showing their own ambitions through some business of a different nature, the abundance of players now at Pellegrini’s disposal in the final third is a mouth watering prospect and I fully expect each and every one to excel in each others’ company. For example, Jesus Navas has revealed himself as the epitome of an old fashioned right winger due to his unrelenting pursuit of the byline and equally perpetual bombarding of the opponent’s penalty area with his well measured crosses. Often players like this have been missing at many of the top clubs, and for no reason, as whilst perhaps only Antonio Valencia of Manchester United out of the top four clubs being labelled as an out and out winger, he on many occasions has shown how effective this classic approach can be, thus I believe Navas’s introduction to the blue team in Manchester will be similarly influential. However, the most important aspect of the Navas signing is that City have found the type of service that suits Dzeko’s style of play, and will subsequently not only see him given more goal scoring opportunities, but opportunities that he will thrive under and enjoy.
Navas has shown his adeptness at crossing and willingness to do it already and with Dzeko’s penetrating dashes to both near and far post, I think this is a match made in heaven especially as the potency of this type of partnership is evident through Navas’s work with Negredo at Sevilla. Thus by bringing his old partner and giving him and even more talented one in Dzeko, I believe Pellegrini will very much be looking at this dynamic duo to make the difference for him this season, but more significantly for Dzeko to be on the end of all the Spaniard’s good work, rather than his old partner in crime Alvaro Negredo.
Finally, I would just like to summarise how excited I am about Edin Dzeko finally returning to his top form this season by talking about a comparison that many of you will probably disagree with. But anyway, here it goes.
Edin Dzeko for me can be the similar type of talisman for Manchester City that Robin Van Persie was and is for Arsenal and Manchester United respectively. They both have similar builds, similar physical attributes and similar technical attributes. Where Dzeko is probably more adept aerially, Van Persie has a superior touch, yet when considering their array of talents and style of play, there is plenty of evidence to support my comparison. I am not denying that Robin Van Persie is a class above Edin Dzeko, but this is not to say that Dzeko cannot become a member of this class, especially when considering Van Persie is three years his senior and hit his best form at the age Dzeko is now. The Bosnian showed he has Van Persie’s lethality in front of goal with his strike against Cardiff and he also showed the effectiveness of his all round play against Newcastle. The culture, fluency and elegance synonymous with the Dutchman’s game may be the only thing Dzeko is naturally lacking and whilst Robin Van Persie is in contention with Ibrahimovic and Falcao for the honour of best out and out striker in the world, the completeness to these players’ games is what make them so special and I believe Dzeko’s frame, style of play and already impressive technical ability means that with a bit of fine tuning and faith placed in him, he can be as prolific as the world’s best, and just as the aforementioned players are, be placed under the bracket of ‘the complete forward.’
Yet, whether you agree or disagree with that comparison, the fact is that two and a half years ago Edin Dzeko was attracting some of the biggest clubs in the world and also commanded a £27 million price tag which to me says their is a huge amount of talent still waiting to be unleashed. I have touted this season as a massive one for Dzeko and it could well be the one in which a striker that scored 26 in 29 Bundesliga games is reborn, and puts the majority of Premier League clubs to the sharp edge of his sword.