x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Edin Dzeko aiming to please at Manchester City

The Bosnian Edin Dzeko completes his £27m move to Manchester City and the striker 'can make the difference in big games' claims delighted manager Roberto Mancini.

Edin Dzeko, Manchester City's new £27 million signing from Wolfsburg. Alex Livesey / Getty Images
Edin Dzeko, Manchester City's new £27 million signing from Wolfsburg. Alex Livesey / Getty Images

If the aim of every striker is to be a crowd pleaser, Edin Dzeko has made a fine start to life at Manchester City.

The £27 million (Dh154m) forward hopes to debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday but, even before he scores his first goal, he should have endeared himself to the regulars at Eastlands.

A declaration that Manchester contains more City fans than United followers is music to the ears of the Blues, while the Bosnian was quick to express his admiration for the long-suffering supporters.

Robinho, City's last No 10, cut a disaffected figure, with one eye permanently on the exit door. In contrast, Dzeko has been quick to immerse himself in the culture of his new club.

"I watched Blue Moon [Rising], he said. "I watched the film and I have to say it was a very emotional. I saw people living for the club. It is fantastic how people love the club despite them not winning a trophy in the last 34 years.

"It is amazing. They are very loyal to the club. I want to make people happy. I helped Wolfsburg win the first Bundesliga title in their history and I'd like to make history here."

Next month's Manchester derby is a date that is already etched into his diary. "A lot of people told me that mostly fans from Manchester are fans of Manchester City and from the other cities, more for Manchester United," he said.

Although Dzeko's height should offer City another dimension, his hero was the shorter, sleeker Andriy Shevchenko. As AC Milan were among his many suitors, it prompted speculation he would be headed for the San Siro.

The 24-year-old added: "Because I was a big fan of AC Milan and Andriy Shevchenko when I was younger, people thought that meant I wanted to join them but City was my first choice."

The transfer brought to an end a six-month pursuit of a player who scored 66 goals in 111 league games for Wolfsburg. Now, besides easing the reliance on Carlos Tevez, Roberto Mancini believes that it gives him a strike force to rival any in Europe.

"I think so, because of the quality and the goals our strikers can score," he said.

Frustrated by some of City's struggles to break opponents down, the Italian believes he can now adopt a policy of all-out attack.

"I think Carlos, Mario [Balotelli], David Silva and Edin can all play together in the same team," he added. "Like in games when we played Birmingham and Blackburn, when we spend almost 90 minutes in their box and don't score. With Edin, we maybe will have more chances to score from crosses. I think Edin can make the difference in big games."

The timing of Dzeko's arrival is important, however, with Balotelli's knee injury requiring three weeks of rest.

sports@thenational.ae