Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has been rewarded for his sparkling start to the new football season by being named Barclays English Premier League Player of the Month for August. The 25-year-old Muslim from Bosnia and Herzegovina has scored six goals in Cityâ€™s opening three matches, including goals against Tottenham in a 5-1 win on the road last weekend.
Dzeko started slowly with Manchester City after his Â£27million move from Wolfsburg in January. He arrived at Man City with a reputation as a prolific goalscorer, with 85 goals in 138 appearances for former German champions Wolfsburg. But it took him three months to score his first Premier League goal, and he finished the season with only six goals in 21 appearances, a goal total that he has already equaled in the new season in only three appearances.
In an interview with The Mirror this past summer, Dzeko admitted that he arrived at City in a troubled state of mind, his head scrambled by the protracted nature of his move. He also admitted to struggling initially to adapt to the pace and physical nature of the Premier League. â€œI was sick of all the talk about the transfer,â€ said Dzeko. â€œIt had got to my head a little bit [by the time he arrived at City]. But still I think I had some good games and scored some important goals. I was new in the team and it was a hard season. Itâ€™s always difficult to come to a new club midway through a hard season like that. But I know what I have done in the last six months. Now itâ€™s my second season and I want to do better. Manchester City didnâ€™t pay money for me because they saw me once on YouTube or something like that. They saw me scoring good goals. I havenâ€™t forgotten how to score goals and I will show that next season. Every player needs time to settle in and get used to things; from the league to other players – everything. But Iâ€™ve had a full pre-season with the team now, which I think is the most important thing for any player, and Iâ€™m working hard. Weâ€™ll see what happens. But I know this season will be much better.â€
â€œThe Premier League is different,â€ said Dzeko. â€œThe players are much stronger and much faster. After a few games when I first came, I realised the referees donâ€™t whistle for many things. Itâ€™s not like that in Germany – with every small contact thereâ€™s a foul. In England itâ€™s different and youâ€™ve got to get used to all those things. Itâ€™s now behind me.â€
Now Dzeko looks to have constant competition for playing time on a high-profile team such as Manchester City, with this summerâ€™s arrival of Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero, and the recent addition of fellow Muslim Samir Nasri. But Dzeko seems undaunted by the competition.
â€œThereâ€™s always competition in football,â€ said Dzeko.â€I donâ€™t think about that, though. I know what I can do. I do my best in training and I think I train very wellâ€¦The manager is telling me all the time â€˜I believe in youâ€™ and â€˜just work hardâ€™, which is what Iâ€™m doing.â€