It seemed like Edin Dzeko was destined to leave Roma after 5 years in the capital. The 20/21 campaign saw him record some of the lowest scoring numbers of his career, get into a dispute with former manager Paulo Fonseca and almost leave the club in a swap for Inter forward Alexis Sanchez earlier in January.
Going into preseason, Dzeko awaited offers from abroad that never arrived. The Bosnian striker was ready to consider any offer that included a two-year contract. At 35 years of age, Dzeko was likely on his way to places like MLS or Turkey.
With Mourinho’s arrival, however, Il Tempo reports that everything changed. Dzeko and the Portuguese technician had lengthy discussions before the start of group training and the Special One made it clear to Edin that he wants him at the center of the project as a veteran figure.
With his salary considerably standing in the way of any eventual deals for a big-time striker, Dzeko will most likely lead Roma’s attack for a sixth and final season.
According to Il Tempo the preseason camp in Portugal helped reach Mourinho’s first objective for his time at Roma: create an understanding between players and a sense of camaraderie in the locker room. So far, Edin has been one of the most positive leaders and has welcomed the likes of Rui Patricio and Eldor Shomurodov, helping them integrate as quickly and smoothly as possible.