Dzeko taking his chance

Having joined City for GBP27 million two years ago, big things were expected of the former Wolfsburg man. Juventus are just one of a host of top European clubs who have been linked with a move for Dzeko, but it would be a surprise if Mancini cashed in on the in-form striker.

Edin Dzeko has proved he is more than just a ‘super sub’ for Manchester City over the Christmas period and the striker has warned Manchester United that the English Premier League title race is far from over.

Dzeko has cut a frustrated figure for much of his time at City following his big-money move from Wolfsburg as he has failed to establish himself as a regular starter. With Sergio Aguero pretty much a mainstay in the City starting line-up and Carlos Tevez back in favour, Dzeko has been limited to substitute appearances for much of this season.

But the Serbia striker has a knack of scoring important goals after coming off the bench and he was given the nod to start at Norwich, an opportunity he grasped with both hands by scoring twice in the first four minutes as the champions won a thriller 4-3. Dzeko followed that up with another goal as City brushed Stoke aside 3-0 to remain seven points behind United. And the clinical frontman insists United’s lead can still be brought down in the race for the EPL title. “It looks a lot, of course,” said Dzeko. “But nothing is finished. We will fight until the end.”

Dzeko was pleased to be given his chance to start the last two games and he hopes to keep his place in the side. “I think I paid him back,” said Dzeko. “We will see what the future brings.”

An injury to Aguero will keep the Argentina striker on the sidelines for a couple of games so it would be a surprise if Dzeko is overlooked for the time being at least. Tevez is likely to come back in to partner Dzeko as Mario Balotelli is out of favour and Mancini is pleased with the options at his disposal.

The City boss said: “We have won games with Carlos and Aguero, Edin and Carlos, Aguero and Edin; all these three players, if they work hard like this, they can score important goals for the season.”

Dzeko has proved he is more than just a ‘super sub’ and with 10 goals this season as well as some fine form at international level, it is no surprise that the 26-year-old has become increasing disgruntled with a lack of playing time.

Having joined City for GBP27million two years ago, big things were expected of the former Wolfsburg man. Juventus are just one of a host of top European clubs who have been linked with a move for Dzeko, but it would be a surprise if Mancini cashed in on the in-form striker.

Balotelli’s days at City appear to be numbered and if any striker was to leave the Etihad Stadium this month then the Italy international would appear the most likely. Dzeko played his part in City’s long-awaited EPL title success last season and he has not given up hope of lifting the trophy for a second time.

With Aguero on the sidelines, Mancini will be looking to Dzeko and Tevez to step up to the plate and both players will relish the responsibility. When Aguero does return then Mancini will be faced with a dilemma as Dzeko has let his feelings about being on the bench so often be known to his manager.

He made his point in the best way possible against Norwich and Stoke and if the Serbia star continues his rich vein of form then it could be Tevez who is again voicing his disapproval about being left out of the side.

After scoring against Stoke Dzeko revealed a t-shirt with a ‘Happy New Year’ message on the front and he will be hoping 2013 brings more trophies and less time on the bench.