AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko finds himself atop of the Italian Serie A scoring charts after a prolific start to the season.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international greatly struggled for form in his first season at the Stadio Olimpico but is enjoying his best return of goals for some time.
Improved athleticism contributing to more chances
Last season, Edin Dzeko struggled physically and it showed with his performances and goal tally. The 30-year-old wasn’t breaking the offside trap on a regular basis like he is in 2016/17, nor was he getting into dangerous areas in the penalty area to score from close range. But Dzeko has worked hard in the summer to improve his overall fitness and agility, and now he’s making runs in behind the backline to and forge himself one-on-one opportunities, rather than just aimlessly waiting in the box for balls to come in.
But when Roma are looking to utilise his strengths in steering in crosses, Dzeko has answered the call. In just 12 appearances, the former Manchester City striker has doubled his shots inside the six-yard box from last season’s tally, and is averaging more than twice the amount of shots-per-game from 2015/16. He’s creating his own opportunities with improved movement and looks sharper in front of goal with 10 goals in 10 Serie A starts.
Dzeko proving his worth to turn Roma fans into believers
Many had written off the veteran striker following his move from Manchester City to AS Roma in 2015, suggesting his time in England was a disappointment. But with Dzeko boasting 50 Premier League goals in 74 starts, he’s done his job as a centre-forward. He went to Roma with fans habouring polarising opinions and did himself no favours following a poor debut campaign – supporters calling him Edin Cieco (Edin the Blind) for his profligacy.
However, things have considerably changed this season and the Roma faithful are seeing the real Edin Dzeko. Throughout his career, he’s always been a prolific goalscorer but was on the receiving end of a lot of criticism for a lowly tally in 2015/16. Dzeko’s work rate and link-up play has been questioned in the past but when it comes to goal-getting he’s always registered respectable starts-per-goal tallies upon leaving a club.
Now he leads the Serie A charts for goals a third of the way into the season and will be hoping to fire Roma into title contention as the campaign continues. Edin Dzeko is 9/4 to finish Serie A top goalscorer in 2016/17.