The Bosnian striker was selected to start Manchester City's Premier League opener against Newcastle but, with a new contract set to be signed, did he make his mark?Manchester City considered selling Edin Dzeko. Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo were banging in the goals at the start of last season and the Bosnian was seen as an expensive luxury, a player whose contract was running out and someone they could afford to do without.
Now, though, it's an entirely different story. Dzeko is arguably as vital to City's attempts to defend their title as anyone else and Manuel Pellegrini will be the first to tell you that his striker is worth every penny of his £150,000-a-week wages.
So with the 28-year-old picked to start City's first Premier League game of the new season, Goal takes a look at how he got on and, despite not finding the back of the net, whether he can expect to again be picked for the crucial meeting with Liverpool next time out...
|PERFORMANCE AGAINST NEWCASTLE|
Dzeko started in attack alongside Stevan Jovetic as City began the defence of their title with a tricky trip to Newcastle.
The Bosnian striker finished the last campaign with five goals in his last four matches and, although he failed to get on the scoresheet as Pellegrini's men secured a creditable 2-0 win, he certainly played his part and was one of City's most impressive performers on the day.
Aguero, who came off the bench to add his side's second goal and seal the victory, may well be Pellegrini's ace in the pack but Dzeko offers something different and again showcased his ability to lead the line, playing as the central striker and allowing Jovetic to roam into wider areas.
His assist for David Silva's opening goal was sublime and, although he should have done better with an early chance, he was unlucky not to score in the second half when he rose above Paul Dummett only to see his header loop inches over the top of Tim Krul's crossbar.
Dzeko was eventually replaced by Aguero with seven minutes remaining but will be delighted to have played a significant role, particularly with the assist for Silva's strike, in what proved a solid start to the season for Pellegrini's men.
The 28-year-old provided a moment of sheer genius as he completely took both Newcastle centre-backs out of the game with a delightful backheel that allowed Silva to make it 1-0 in the first half.
Yaya Toure started the move, picking up the ball near the centre circle before releasing a long ball over the top into Dzeko's path. The Bosnian decided against taking a touch, allowing the ball to bounce before flicking the ball behind him and into Silva's path.
The Spaniard did the rest, slotting the ball low past Krul to opening the scoring but Dzeko showed fantastic awareness to recognise Silva's run and the execution of the backheel was perfect in ensuring that his team-mate did not have to break stride before taking a touch and striking at goal.
It would be harsh on Dzeko to label any of his performance a lowlight but he did squander one decent chance to give his side the lead very early on when he raced through one-on-one with Krul.
The City forward bore down on the goalkeeper but his first-time dinked finish following Jovetic's delightful through-pass was saved by the Netherlands star when he really should have done better to give the visitors an early lead.
In the second half Dzeko again had a chance to find the net but could not direct a header on target after climbing well above Dummett to make contact with Jovetic's pinpoint cross.
|WILL HE START AGAINST LIVERPOOL?|
In one of the early heavyweight clashes of the season, Pellegrini's side host Liverpool on August 25 and it is fair to say that the Chilean coach has his share of selection dilemmas - Dzeko being one of them.
Aguero will undoubtedly be pushing for a start against Brendan Rodgers's men, having made an impact from the bench at St James's Park, and Jovetic, being a similarly explosive striker who relies on his pace and movement, would seem the more likely candidate to drop out of the XI for the Argentine.
Pellegrini will be looking for his side to dominate possession and dictate the flow of the game in front of their own fans and thus Dzeko would seem a sensible selection in ensuring that there is a presence inside the box, with Aguero and Jovetic more likely to roam to the flanks and drop deep in an attempt to make things happen.
The last time that the two sides met at the Etihad Stadium, Negredo was given the nod and so, with the Spaniard injured and currently out of the picture, it could be Dzeko's big chance to shine as he prepares to officially put pen to paper on a new deal with the Premier League champions.