Why Dzeko has been better than you think…

John Solano

I’m a huge proponent of first impressions. In my mind, they’re important in nearly every facet of life. You obviously get only one chance to make a first impression. If it’s good, then all is well. If it’s not…well then, good luck to you.

Edin Dzeko did not make a good first impression on Roma fans in his first season.

I have (begrudgingly) been a staunch supporter of the Big Bosnian because, for me, his body of work as a player and, more importantly, as a champion speaks for itself.

There’s no doubting that Dzeko not only disappointed all of last season and parts of this season as well. Dzeko leads Serie A in missed opportunities. A horrible statistic, right? There’s no doubting that whatsoever. Dzeko has missed a host of chances for Roma in this early season and perhaps even cost Roma points in doing so. But let’s take a small look into Dzeko’s numbers, which certainly give credence to the fact that he hasn’t been nearly as bad as many have thought.

– Roma have scored 16 goals thus far in Serie A, Dzeko has a hand in 6 of those: accounting for nearly 38%.

– Against Inter, Dzeko won 8 aerial duels, a fantastic mark for a centre forward. In fact, Dzeko sits third in all of Serie A in this category.

– Dzeko also created 2 chances for Roma against de Boer’s squad, one of which should have easily been buried by Mohammed Salah.

– It’s a point of reference I despise using, but it’s worth noting: Dzeko has the highest WhoScored rating for all players in Serie A, with a rating of 8.02

– His defensive work rate this season has been superb. Dzeko’s knack for tracking back and assisting in defence often goes unnoticed. Here’s just one example (Heat Map against Inter below).

Notice how Dzeko gladly drops deep and is willing to assist in ball recovery and restarting the play.

Do these numbers tell the whole story? No way. Not even close. However, they do give more of a deeper look as to how, beyond goals, Dzeko has helped this team and has been a crucial piece to Luciano Spalletti.

So have you been able to forgive Erin Dzeko for his horrible first impression at Roma? Unlikely, but if he continues with this early success, it’s possible that the Bosnian may be given a reprieve.

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