Come and get me Bobby!

Edin Dzeko celebrates yet another Bundesliga
goal with prolific strike partner Grafite.

In the week that Edin Dzeko personally writes to Manchester City asking to be signed I take a closer look at Europe's hottest striker.

A new element to the 'Carlos Tevez Affair;' Edin Dzeko has written to Manchester City asking them to sign him. City have long had interest in the 6ft 3 Bosnian striker and now see him as the perfect replacement for their goalscoring captain. However Roberto Mancini recently came out and said that he wants Dzeko to play with Tevez not instead of. City may have a wealth of attacking talent at their disposal but unfortunately players like Emmanuel Adebayor and Mario Balotelli can prove rather tempermental characters.

So what about Dzeko? Well he is undoubtably talented. The current Wolfsburg No 9 has been the subject of speculation about where his future lies. There is reported interest too from Juventus and Milan but after this latest revelation it might only be a couple of weeks before he pops up at Eastlands.

Born on the 17th March 1986 in Sarajevo he experienced the Bosnian Civil War first hand when he was only six. He later recalled, "It was a hard time for everyone in the country. There wasn't much to eat, not really enough for three meals a day. We were always having to hide when shots rang out or bombs fell. You could get shot at any time. I cried a lot in those days. Thank God the war is in the past."

Dzeko joined Bosnian Premier League side FK Zeljeznicar in 1996 and made his first team debut in 2003. He played as a midfielder and only managed 5 goals in 40 games for the club over two years. The Czech Republic side Teplice came calling, snapping him up for around €80,000, ($45,000) as one Zeljeznicar director exclaimed at the time, "we thought we'd won the lottery!" In his first season in the Czech Republic he only scored 3 goals in 13 games before being loaned out to Second Division side FK Usti nad Labem where his record was still a little unimpressive; 6 goals in 15 games.

He returned to Teplice for the start of the 2006/07 season and was converted to a striker. It payed dividends for the Czechs and he was voted best foreign player that season and was second in the scoring charts with 13 goals in 30 appearances. This change in position would prove a defining moment in Dzeko's career and it wasn't too long before then Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath would gamble €2.2 million on the big target man.
Edin for Bosnia

Dzeko's been a regular in the Bosnian U19 and U21 sides he made his senior debut against Turkey on the 2th June 2007. He scored as well. Drawing Bosnia level at 2-2 in a game they would go on to win 3-2. Bosnia, of course, is a country torn apart by national identity and religion. Although Dzeko is a Bosnian Muslim but only prays once a day instead of the traditional five. He has formed a prolific partnership with Zvjezdan Misimovic both at Wolfsburg and Bosnia.

Misimovic is a Bosnian Serb and this makes their partnership all the more remarkable. Bosnia are quickly becoming a decent team on the world stage and being able to put their cultural differences behind them will only benefit this. Jonathan Wilson describes Misimovic as "slow and perhaps a little rounder than most footballers, but blessed with the vision and technical excellence that places him squarely in the great tradition of Bosnian playmakers."

At the moment Bosnia sit fourth in their Euro 2012 qualifying group that they should qualify from; only France and Romania could prove tricky and even then it's not too hard to see this Balkans team beating them with talented youngsters like Pjanic, Dzeko, Misimovic and even Stoke City's Asmir Begovic.

Dzeko hit the ground running in Germany, scoring five goals and assisting three in his first 11 games however his form would tail off towards the end of the year and he would only notch up another three as Wolfsburg finished fifth. In the 08/09 season he was in explosive form and was instrumental in Wolfsburg's Bundesliga triumph, scoring 28 goals.

It's a testament to Wolfsburg's squad that season that his strike partner, the Brazilian Grafite, beat him to the Bundesliga top scorer by two goals. Not only that but they were assisted by the impressive Misimovic in midfield. Hardly surprising then that the champions had the most successful strikeforce in Bundesliga history. And he recently became Wolfsburg's all time top goalscorer with 65 goals in 109 games so far, beating Uli Hoeness and Gerd Müller in the process.

Dzeko's rise to international recognition has been fast one. Of course he is an exceptional talent who you could compare, perhaps, to Andy Carroll. He has been described by some as a very "English style" striker. Now he really has thrust himself into the public spotlight with this "come and get me" plea to City and certainly Mancini could do a lot worse. Over the last three years he has been repeatedly connected to some of Europe's biggest clubs and in the summer he looked odds on to go to Real Madrid.

Italy's big guns have been interested in him as well although the feeling from many is that a big, quick, physical striker might not be that suited to Italian football. Then again City, themselves, have been playing very Italian football this season. Personally I feel he will thrive in England and as a City fan I would love him to sign however his obvious importance to the club means there's a €40 million price tag. No problem for City surely. However much to their credit City are refusing to pay and are attempting to lower it. Somewhere around the €30 million mark is probably more likely. He beats Adebayor hands down any day.

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