McClaren warns City: Dzeko may struggle for rest of the season
Steve McClaren, the manager who sanctioned Edin Dzeko's £27m sale to Manchester City, believes the striker may not reach his peak until next season, a conclusion that Dzeko's current manager Roberto Mancini badly needs to see the Bosnian disprove in the fight for a top-four Premier League place.
Dzeko struggled for his touch when coming on in last Saturday's Manchester derby and also against Aris Salonika in the Europa League this week, prompting Mancini to declare: "I expect more from him", and to compare the 24-year-old's acclimatisation problems to those of Fernando Torres at Chelsea.
"I think maybe – and I hope for Roberto Mancini's sake that it will be this season – that it may be that you see the best of Edin Dzeko next season," McClaren said. "I think that Edin, once he learns to settle in England and adapts to the English system, will be a major force, certainly among the strikers. He has all the attributes to be a hit in England. They have got so many good strikers there at Manchester City that of course it will take him time to bed in but I think that he is a player that will be really suited to the Premier League. But you do have to remember that sometimes not all of them settle in automatically."
Mancini first moved for Dzeko last summer after City concluded that Torres would not leave Liverpool at that time and McClaren, who was dismissed by Wolfsburg earlier this month after a poor first half to the season, insisted that the club's investment may be proved wise. "He is very good technically and has very good feet. In some ways he reminds me of a much taller Mark Viduka. Mark was so brilliant in the box and, for such a big guy, he had amazing technical skills. Edin is very much the same. But given that Edin is a lot taller than Mark, I reckon that his physical presence will be a lot more telling in the Premier League."
After City's defeat in the Manchester derby, Mancini dismissed suggestions Dzeko would not be the finished article until next season, insisting: "We have three months."
Mario Balotelli's encouraging 12-minute cameo in Greece on Tuesday offered some hope that he will also settle after a prolonged absence with a knee injury. The Italian striker is expected to start against Notts County in the FA Cup fourth-round replay on Sunday afternoon.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
Latest in Sport
Harry Redknapp: 'Adel Taarabt is about three stone overweight. I can't pick him'
QPR vs Liverpool match report: Liverpool snatch victory in seven late minutes of madness
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce calm over lack of new contract
QPR vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? And did Mario Balotelli emerge with any credit?
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Manchester United striker to glory
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientists who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'