Analysis – Does departing Dzeko deserve hero status?

Edin Dzeko looks set to be ending his four and-a-half year stay at Manchester City as he prepares to join Roma for £14m – a little over half the fee that was paid to bring him to England from Wolfsburg in January 2011. He has played an invaluable part in two title triumphs and has contributed to successes in both domestic cups, but one is tempted to conclude that he has not quite received the attention to reflect his achievements.

Of course, one clear reason for that is the presence of the man who is widely regarded as the Premier League’s best finisher. Sergio Aguero has scored goals at a remarkable rate since joining six months after Dzeko, and got the goal which ended the club’s 44-year wait to win the league in the most dramatic circumstances in 2012. It is easy to forget that Dzeko’s header moments earlier made all of that memorable jubilation possible.

It took the Bosnian time to find his feet at Man City, taking until his first full season to hit the heights. A superb four-goal haul at Tottenham in August 2011 showed his true capabilities, and he continued to impress with contributions such as two goals in the infamous 6-1 Manchester derby victory.

It turned out to a memorable campaign, but a trophy-less 2012-13 was much more of a stormy affair, as he struggled for consistency amid rumours of a rift with manager Roberto Mancini. He still managed a total of 15 goals, but the pressure was on to raise his game as the super-rich owners were ready to splash the cash on expensive new recruits.

Aided by the faith of new boss Manuel Pellegrini, he excelled the following season and was key to the club achieving a league and Capital One Cup double, scoring a hugely impressive 26 goals in all competitions. He was occasionally kept out of the starting XI by Alvaro Negredo, but responded strongly to at least emerge with great credit, although still somewhat in the shadow of Aguero and Yaya Toure.

Last season turned out to be another challenging one for City, and Dzeko suffered considerably due to injuries and a lack of form. His future has been the subject of regular speculation for some time, but he leaves the club having helped to achieve so much. Sometimes criticised for appearing languid or too often straying offside, he also showed immense talent and a knack for scoring important goals.

When looking back on his standout moments in a Man City shirt, it is clear that he will forever be held in high regard by their legions of supporters, but it is also clear that he will never reach the state of undying affection they have for Aguero. He leaves following an unforgettable chapter of his career, with the fact that he rarely nailed down a starting place saying more about the club’s riches rather than his ability.

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