Debate over Dzeko: are fans right to criticise the Roma star?

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Edin Dzeko is football’s version of marmite; you either love him or you hate him. The Bosnia striker has struggled for consistency throughout his career but is in the form of his life at AS Roma right now. However, despite scoring seven goals in eight league games for Luciano Spalletti’s side this season, a number of Italian supporters are still criticising the centre-forward. Unfortunately, heckling is something that Dzeko will always have to deal with.

According to Soccerbase, Dzeko has scored an impressive 10 goals in 12 appearances for club and country this season – and it would be fair to suggest that the Bosnia-Herzegovina star is beginning to settle in Serie A. He struggled to adapt whilst out on loan last year but still managed to net eight goals in 31 appearances; and that is why Roma decided to take a risk and sign the striker on a permanent basis.

The Bosnia man has been scoring goals for fun in recent weeks, netting two goals in Roma’s recent 3-1 victory over rivals Napoli. Without Dzeko’s goals, the Giallorossi would be lagging behind in the title race. The former Manchester City striker is currently sitting at the top of the Serie A goal scoring charts, with Mohamed Salah the closest Roma player to his tally with four strikes. As you can see from the statistics below, Dzeko has never enjoyed such a positive start to a season.

Despite Dzeko’s rich vein of form, Roma boss Spalletti has vented his frustration at the 30-year-old on more than one occasion this campaign. Some Italian football fans have claimed that Dzeko’s style of play is not suited to Serie A. However, it is quite easy to counter this argument. Ultimately, his job as a striker is to score goals. As long as he is scoring, it is hard to justify leaving him out of the starting line-up.

As of October 20th, Roma are second in the Serie A table – just five points behind defending champions and current leaders Juventus. Whilst Roma cannot compete with Juve in terms of power in the transfer market, they could topple the Italian giants if they continue to build momentum; and recent victories over fellow contenders Inter Milan and Napoli will certainly improve their chances of snatching a shock title success.

Spalletti’s men are priced at 8/1 in the latest Serie A betting markets with Bet365 and Dzeko’s goals will be key as they hunt down Juventus at the top of the table. Massimiliano Allegri’s men have won the title in each of the last five years but Roma will be quietly confident of displacing their rivals at the summit of Italian football. After all, with Salah and Dzeko in fine form, anything is possible.

If Dzeko continues to fire in the goals, his place in the starting line-up will be guaranteed – much to the dismay of his critics. And if he maintains his current form, he will be integral as Roma search for a first Italian title since 2001.

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