McClaren: Dzeko needs another year before he will score regularly

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The Independent Football

Steve McClaren has warned Manchester City that, despite scoring his first Premier League goal on Monday night, it will take time for Edin Dzeko to find his feet in England.

McClaren was manager of Wolfsburg when the club sanctioned the Bosnian's £27m transfer to Manchester City in January and was at Blackburn, commentating for the BBC, when he finally broke his duck.

However, McClaren did not believe Dzeko's winner at Ewood Park would trigger a flood of goals and predicted that the striker, who played a major part in Wolfsburg's Bundesliga triumph in 2009, would remain a bit-part player at Eastlands until next season.

"I know when he came to the Bundesliga in his first season he was in and out of the team and never scored that many goals," said the former England manager. "It took him a year to adapt. The second year? Twenty-eight goals. The next? Twenty-five. I had a chat with him after the game and he is such a nice kid, such a good professional. He told me this was a new beginning for him and this would be the goal that will send him on his way.

"But Manchester City is a big dressing room with big characters. He has got to find his niche; he has got to find a role and prove himself to people. That can be difficult after moving into a new environment. He has got to learn to adapt to that and become more ruthless.

"However, he will adapt and he will score goals. He had to prove his ruthlessness in Germany and he did it. Now, he has got to do it again here. Sometimes you get a great start and sometimes you don't. If you don't, the pressure is on, especially in England and especially at Manchester City.

"I think he will be a bit-part player this season, scoring the odd goal to be part of the success, though the FA Cup final could be one for him. It is difficult for a striker to move in January. You either hit the ground running and become a hero or it is difficult; so judge him next season."

McClaren himself did not long survive Dzeko's departure from Wolfsburg, leaving the Volkswagen Arena in February. Without their record goalscorer, who found the net every other game, Wolfsburg were unable to avoid being sucked into the Bundesliga's relegation zone, where they lie two points from safety with three matches remaining.