Edin Dzeko profile: 10 things you need to know about the Arsenal target
Published 00:00 06/06/09 By By Jody Houton and Ann Gripper, Mirror.co.uk
Arsenal are favourites to beat Manchester City to the signing of Wolfsburg hotshot Edin Dzeko . Get the lowdown on the Bosnia striker with our Mirror.co.uk profile, with more goals than you could shake a stick at.
1) Edin Dzeko was born in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia, on 17 March 1986, and he and his family had to cope with the Bosnian war rampaging through the country when he was only six. He recalled: "It was a hard time for everyone in the country. There wasn't much to eat, not really enough for three meals a day. I was very afraid every day. We were always having to hide when shots rang out or bombs fell. You could get shot at any time. I cried a lot in those days. Thank God the war is in the past."
2) Dzeko joined Bosnia and Herzegovina Premier League side FK Zeljeznicar and made his debut in 2003, starting out as a midfielder and scoring five goals in 40 games in two years at the club.
3) He moved on to top flight Czech club FK Teplice in 2005 for €80,000, and was loaned out to second division FK Ústí nad Labem for the first half of the season. His time in the Czech Republic saw him converted into a striker - an effective switch which saw him named best foreign striker and finish second in the golden boot race in the 2006-07 season.
4) Having come up through the U19 and U21 ranks, Dzeko made his debut for the senior side against Turkey on 2 June 2007. He made an instant impact, scoring the equaliser for 2-2 as Bosnia went on to win the game 3-2.
5) Dzeko's goals caught the eye of VFL Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath, who took the striker to the Bundesliga for €4million, with Dzeko signing a deal until 2011.
6) He started brightly, with five goals in the first twelve matches, but was less successful in the second half, ending his first season in Germany with eight goals in 28 games.
7) Last season was a different story, though, as Dzeko became half of the most successful strikeforce in Bundesliga history alongside Brazilian frontman Grafite, beating Gerd Mueller and Uli Hoeness's record from 1972-73. Dzeko notched 26 of the pair's 54 goals which helped propel Wolfsburg to the Bundesliga title.
8) Dzeko finished the season with a flourish as well, scoring two hat tricks - his first coming on 2 May against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in just 13 minutes.
9) After his goal-scoring exploits it is no wonder boss Magath sings Dzeko's praises. Magath says of Dzeko: "He is just the kind of striker a club would wish for. He is unselfish, has an accurate shot and header, and knows what to do with the ball the moment he receives it."
10) Although Muslim, Dzeko doesn't consider himself orthodox and prays once a day instead of the traditional five times.
Here is some more footage of the goal machine in action on the pitch: