Edin Dzeko has never quite received the credit he deserves in England. Under Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City striker was most commonly used as an impact substitute, and despite recording his best goal return to date this season since joining the Etihad ranks back in January 2011, the focus has been firmly set on crocked strike-partner Sergio Aguero in recent weeks.
But in homage to his brace against Aston Villa this evening – two vital goals amid City’s Premier League title bid – here’s three reasons why the Bosnian assassin is just as important as Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and any other key player at Eastlands.
Often clumsy on the ball, Dzeko gets a lot of stick from Premier League neutrals for his limited quality in possession. But there’s no doubt the Bosnian international knows where the goal is; since his Premier League arrival, he’s claimed an impressive 45 goals in 107 league outings. He’s also currently sixth in the Premier League’s all-time goals per minute chart.
Here’s his first strike from this evening:
Smart movement, solid finish. Classic Dzeko.
Perhaps due to the enormous quality surrounding him, Dzeko’s influence for Manchester City often goes unnoticed. His personal style of general hustle and bustle isn’t the most eye-catching or exciting, in many ways symbolising how the Bosnian is very much an unsung hero at the Etihad. These Twitter users managed to pick up on it however:
Very Under rated player That Dzeko isn’t he, You wouldn’t look at him for any dream teams but what a striker. Aguero gets all the attention.
— Chris Selway ™ (@Selway826) May 7, 2014
Dzeko is one of the most underrated players in the world.
— Shafik Mandhai (@shafzibit) May 7, 2014
Would love to know how many one-touch finishes Dzeko has executed in his #MCFC career. Very underrated.
— Andy Dunn (@AndyDunn_SM) May 7, 2014
It’s all well and good boasting a prominent goal tally, but the difference with Edin Dzeko is that he’s found the net when it matters most this season. Tonight was the perfect example, as he netted twice in City’s 4-0 victory against the Villains. But in fact, with Aguero out injured and Alvaro Negredo seemingly absent of all confidence and form, the 28 year-old has been running a one-man strike-show for some time at the Etihad.
No player has scored more Premier League goals in 2014 than the Citizens target man, coinciding with his side’s striking depth taking a huge hit. It’s not the first time he’s scored important goals for Manchester City either – he also netted the equaliser for the SkyBlues against QPR in their famous title romp on the final day of the 2011/12 campaign.
These Twitter fans felt compelled to pay their respects:
They bang in about yaya,aguero,silva and kompany without dzeko they would not even have a sniff at winning this league!!
— snowy (@snowygb) May 7, 2014
Dzeko gets a lot of hate but he scores a lot of important goals. #analysis
— luke (@LUKEMURTAGH_) May 7, 2014
How many important goals has dzeko scored for us, might slag him off for being lazy sometimes but by Christ has he done a job us.
— Andrew Farrar (@a_faz89) May 7, 2014