Edin Dzeko, the powerful Bosnian striker has finally rubberstamped his move from the 2009 German Champions VFL Wolfsburg to the Premier League and Manchester City.
After passing a medical, securing a work permit and agreeing personal terms – believed to be in the region of £150k per week – the 24 year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at the City of Manchester Stadium, that will pocket his former club, managed by former England boss Steve McClaren, a cool £27 million.
“It has been a long time that I have been linked with the club, going back to last summer, but Wolfsburg did not want to sell me until today” said Dzeko, who will be eligible to make his debut against Wolves on January 15.
“I was always attracted most to joining City and I am pleased to be at such a good club with such a big ambition as Manchester City – They were my first choice and only choice.
“City are playing for first place in the Premier League and that is what I want.
“I am excited to play alongside players such as Tevez and Toure who I have only seen on the television.
“They will help me achieve my goal to be better in the future. I want to show the fans why the club paid the money for me. Everyone expects goals and I want to score them but most of all I want to contribute to a successful team.”
But what can City supporters expect to get from Roberto Mancini’s latest big-money signing?
And what are the implications for the shape of the City side – which has thus far this season stuck to a pretty rigid 4-2-3-1 formation, regardless of personnel – and for the current City captain Carlos Tevez?
Well, fans of City will be pleased to know that the Bosnian’s strike-rate for Wolfsburg is pretty good.
Following his move from Teplice in the summer of 2007, the powerful striker scored 66 league goals for Wolfsburg in 111 Bundesliga matches, including 26 in the 08/09 Championship winning season, when he was also named as Footballer of the Year in Germany.
Furthermore, he has a record of 17 goals at international level, in just 31 appearances, a feat which has earned him the nickname in his home country of “The Bosnian Diamond.”
And Dzeko’s new team-mate at Manchester City , Jerome Boateng, is very pleased with the arrival of Dzeko at Eastlands.
“Dzeko has everything,” said Boateng, the German international defender.
“He can shoot right, left and can head the ball too. He is a very strong striker. He is a quality player.
“Against Hamburg (Boateng’s former club) he always played well and seemed to score. It was always a big challenge.
“He can hold the ball well and he knows how to move with his body – He has a good eye for the goal.”
However, the question remains: How will Roberto Mancini install Dzeko into his starting XI?
Currently the most important player at City is their talismanic striker Carlos Tevez, who has been thriving as a lone striker and has also taken on the added responsibility of being the Citizens captain .
Previously, whilst at Manchester United, Corinthians and Boca Juniors, aswell as with Argentina, Tevez has played largely as a support striker, alongside the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Wayne Rooney and Martin Palermo.
It is only since his move to Eastlands and the arrival at the club of Mancini that Tevez has found himself cast in the role of the number9.
So perhaps a return to this position would suit both parties, with Tevez and Dzeko playing together in tandem.
However this would mean that Mancini’s rigid 4-2-3-1 formation would need to be changed, if he were to employ both Dzeko and Tevez as strikers.
This could mean City either moving to a diamond midfield – with David Silva, the gifted Spanish trequarista, playing just behind – or to a 4-4-2 formation, with two wide midfielders – probably Silva and James Milner. However, both these scenarios would mean no place in the starting XI for Mancini’s protege, Mario Balotelli.
Conversely, the former Inter boss could install Dzeko as his centre forward and drop Tevez into the line of three behind, in a central attacking role, alongside Silva, and the mercurial Balotelli (who also prefers playing as a centre forward).
This would allow Mancini to push Yaya Toure back into a deeper central position, the kind he filled at Barcelona, alongside Nigel De Jong in front of the City back four, pushing Gareth Barry out of the starting line-up but allowing the side to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation.
Yet, playing as a lone striker hasn’t been one of Dzeko’s favourite pursuits in his career so far.
The aforementioned McClaren, upon taking the Wolfsburg job, was keen to utilise the 4-2-3-1 system when he joined in the summer and signed Brazilian playmaker Diego from Juventus.
However, after some poor performances and a struggle from the side to score goals, McClaren was persuaded by a group of experienced players, including Dzeko, to revert to the diamond midfield with two strikers – Dzeko and Grafite – and Diego playing in the hole.
So Roberto Mancini has quite the riddle to solve, as he looks to take City, currently in second place in the Premier League table, into the Champions League next season.
However, if Mancini can find a way to best utilise his playing resources, and get the best out of the likes of Dzeko, Silva and Tevez between now and the end of the season, then the Italian could well be lifting silverware at the City of Manchester Stadium come May.