With their current form and their worst start to a Premier League campaign ever, Manchester United might just be going on a shopping spree when the winter transfer window blows open in the new year.
The English giants have been linked with numerous players this season so far, but are currently lacking a forward which they are likely to shop for in January. They are yet to find a better replacement for Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who left the club during the summer transfer window and is currently eyeing Edin Dzeko as his short-term replacement. The club’s second striker, Alexis Sanchez, was sent on a loan to Inter. Even though the season started months ago, Manchester failed to provide replacements for two experienced attackers, leaving their offense to struggle. Now they have plans to remedy that.
The Red Devils are looking to strengthen up their attack line during the winter transfer window, and due to Dzeko experience in Europe, the club is currently keeping tabs on him, according to ESPN.
The report further claims that the Bosnia international has moved up to become the top target for United in their strikers wish list ahead of Juventus star Mario Mandzukic, which footyaccumulators.com had formerly predicted.
Mandzukic has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for a long time but his lack of game time with Juventus could put a question mark on his ability as a striker as he is yet to feature in a single game for the I Bianconeris this season. At one point, it was even considered a done deal, but Maurizio Sarri still hasn’t given him the chance and at this point, it is unclear if he ever will. The lack of playing time has been crucial in ManU’s decision to seek help elsewhere. While Dzeko, on the other hand, has been formidable upfront for the Romans this season, having scored 12 goals already.
Dzeko, who might just be the best to sign for the club, is not new to the way Premier League is and will have no problem adapting having had a five-year spell with Manchester City.
In his five seasons with the Citizens, the Bosnian striker was able to help the club win the Premier League twice, one FA Cup, one Football League Cup, and one FA Community Shield being pivotal in the team scoring 72 goals and 39 assists in 189 appearances.
One will the former City player as the best option to go ahead of Mandzukic, all thanks to his consistency and game time he has got for himself.
Being a 33-year-old, the Bosnian can only be seen as a short-term option at the Old Trafford much like how Zlatan Ibrahimović was. Since signing for Roma back in 2015, Dzeko has been able to score 93 goals and further assisting 39 in 194 appearances for the club.
Manchester United has been vocal about attracting younger players and focusing on their long-term development, but they are willing to make an exception for Dzeko. They have been burned in the past with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nemanja Matic, both of which the club signed long past their expiration date. Despite that, Edward Gareth Woodward, executive vice-chairman of the club, has apparently already given his consent for the move. The reason Manchester is comfortable with signing a 34-years old striker is that Solskjaer has managed to gather a group of young attackers in the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood. Apart from his playing on the field, Dzeko will most likely be expected to provide a role model for the young guns. His experience could be invaluable in shaping Manchester’s youthful squad.
Dzeko so far had an illustrious career. During his time in Vfl Wolfsburg, he scored 66 goals in 111 appearances. In 2011, he was snagged by Manchester City. €32 million fees was the second-highest Citizens have ever paid for a player, preceded only by €42.5 million they paid for Robinho’s transfer from Real Madrid in 2008.
During his tenure in Manchester, Dzeko scored 50 goals in 130 appearances. Among them was the 92nd-minute equalizer against Queens Park Rangers, which, followed by the score made by Sergio Aguero, secured the title for Manchester City in 2012. It was the first title for the club after 44 years. Dzeko later said that it was the most important goal in his career. Fans will also remember his goal against Manchester United in 2014. Dzeko scored after just 43 seconds of play, officially making it the fastest goal ever scored on Old Trafford.
In 2015, he signed a new 4-year deal with Manchester City, but next year he was transferred to Roma. The first season with the new club wasn’t a great one, but in 2016-17, Dzeko showed his true potential, scoring 17 goals in the first 20 matches. During that season, he became the first Roma’s player to score 33 goals in a single season, surpassing Francesco Totti’s record of 32 goals. The next season saw him among the 30 players nominated for the Ballon d’Or 2017.
On the international plan, Dzeko also had some success. His first appearance for Bosnia and Herzegovina was in the U-19 national team. His debut for the senior team against was Turkey in 2007 when he scored a goal.
Dzeko has been praised for his playing style. He can shoot the ball equally well with both feet and establishes a strong aerial presence in front of the opponent’s goal. Some experts named him a “super-sab” for his ability to come off the bench and score, especially in critical moments for his team during his time in Manchester.
Dzeko signed a new deal this year, committing him to Roma until 2022, but that shouldn’t be a problem for Manchester United. Their coffers are deep and they aren’t afraid to splurge on players they want. If the transfer goes as planned, it will be interesting to see how Manchester City’s fans will react to Dzeko playing for their greatest rival.