Edin Dzeko: The Bosnian rough diamond

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It’s difficult to recall a player who divided opinion more than Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian forward spent four and a half years wearing the blue of City and scored 72 goals, yet many fans were not disappointed to see the striker leave.

After a failed approach in previous windows, City finally landed their man in January 2011 when then club Wolfsburg eventually accepted a £27 million bid for the forward. In Germany, Dzeko had guided the club to the league title quite surprisingly in 2009 and had attracted the interest of some of the biggest names in European football.

The 6 feet 4 inch Bosnian made his debut for City against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 15 January, but his first goal in the league wouldn’t come until April away at Blackburn Rovers. However, in the FA Cup, one of his most crucial goals came shortly after his arrival. Trailing 1-0 to Notts County, Dzeko popped up with an 84th-minute equaliser to take the tie to a replay. City would go on to win the replay comfortably and continue a cup run that would end a 35-year trophy drought.

imageThe 2011/2012 season proved to be Dzeko’s breakthrough season where he started devastatingly. He famously scored four of City’s five goals in a 1-5 away victory at White Hart Lane and broke another record by becoming the first Manchester City player to score four goals in a Premier League match. His frustration grew with manager Roberto Mancini who famously dropped the Bosnian in the following game at home to Wigan much to the fans’ disapproval.

It wouldn’t be long before Dzeko highlighted his talent again. October 23rd, 2011. The 6-1. Dzeko remembered fondly for adding to the embarrassment piled on bitter rivals United when he came off the bench to famously scoring a brace in the stunning destruction of the then Premier League champions.

On the final day of the season, Džeko scored a 92nd-minute equaliser before Agüero’s wonder-goal to beat Queens Park Rangers and secure the Premier League title, the club’s first in 44 years.

He then scored the first goal of City’s Champions League campaign against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu in an unlucky  3-2 defeat. On 29th September he scored an 87th-minute winner away at Fulham just one minute after appearing as a substitute and on 20th October, he came off the bench again in the 79th minute to score a minute later.

He scored the second goal two minutes into stoppage time to seal a comeback win for 10-man City against West Bromwich Albion and was quickly becoming known as a ‘super-sub’.

On 11th November, he scored another late, winning goal again as a substitute with a left-footed volley in the 88th minute against Tottenham Hotspur. On 29th December 2012, he scored two goals against Norwich City in a 4–3 victory

Despite these crucial goals at crucial times City fans were not shy to make their frustration towards Dzeko known. His often lacklustre efforts infuriated supporters who knew what he was capable of when in the mood.

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Arguably his finest hour came when Sergio Aguero missed the majority of the climax to the 2013/2014 season through injury. On 25th March 2014, Dzeko scored twice in a 3–0 Manchester Derby win against Manchester United. His first goal came after just 43 seconds, making it the fastest away goal scored at Old Trafford in Premier League history.

On 27th April he scored City’s first goal in a 2–0 defeat of Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, closing the gap on league leaders Liverpool to three points with a game in hand.

He scored a brace in City’s match at Everton on 3rd May, helping City to a 3–2 win lifting the club to the top of the table with two games left. His second goal of the match was City’s 150th goal in all competitions.

In City’s penultimate game of the season against Aston Villa, Dzeko scored two second-half goals as City won 4–0, ensuring that the club would be crowned champions with a draw against West Ham United at home on the final day.

An injury-hit season in 2014/2015, saw Dzeko fall down the pecking order at the club and in January 2015 the club splashed out £25 million on Ivory Coast international Wilfried Bony.

A move to AS Roma materialised in the summer of 2015, and this brought an end to a four-year off-on love affair with one of the club’s finest ever goalscorers.

Edin Dzeko: 185 appearances. 72 goals.image

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