Seemingly the most plausible transfer rumour surrounding City is Mr E Dzeko, a 24 year-old Bosnian gentleman. At first glance, he’s one of those rare prizes – a gifted natural footballer with immense discipline for formation and communication but who has the confidence to let fly and score jaw-droppers for fun.
A great assister and goal-poacher, his arrival at Eastlands will only add to what is already one of the most aggressive, versatile and fluid midfields in the EPL. Yes, that’s right. It is. He’s plied his trade as a midfielder and a striker, and with four years’ graft in the Bundesliga he should bring in a new flavour for us, too. If it happens – and it looks like it will – this could be Mancini’s mid-term masterstroke. We’ve been watching him for some time, for good reason.
That said, up to £30 million is a hefty outlay for a player without EPL experience and who may take time to adjust. But then gambling on a player of such promise may be wiser than lining the pockets of the disgruntled incumbents. And we’ve blown more on far less promise than Dzeko.
Of the proposed move, many have asked where he’ll fit in, exactly. I think they’re missing the point. Look at Mancini’s zany rotational mind and the increasing versatility he demands of the squad. With Dzeko’s midfield schooling and striker sensibilities, he could quite effectively take the reins off several players who don’t play every game.
As far as I can see, he will deputise for several players for the rest of the season, in attacking midfield and forward roles – which means plenty first-team action and excellent experience for what will hopefully be a CL season in 2011/12.
Another hope is that he might forge a decent partnership with Tevez, Balotelli or both. His telepathic relationship with Grafite in his second season at Wolfsburg brought them 26 goals each, and they took the title. Yes, we’ll have some of that, please.
There is, of course, the danger we’ll end up buying another firework just before it fizzles out, and you never know how a player’s going to respond to becoming part of one of the weirdest circuses in modern football. But Mancini seems shrewder than we might have initially thought. I trust him, he seems to be forging a path and achieving a degree of control over what goes on.
And that Dzeko wrote to the club, more or less saying to ‘come and get me’, is hopefully a fair indication he’ll be with us shortly, and for less than the original £45 million asking price.
Whatever else happens – Hulk, Alves, perhaps, I’ll be happy with Dzeko. Seems like a good idea to me.
But here’s a tip Mr Mancini: Buy Charlie Adam as well. Seriously.
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