Roma’s Edin Dzeko the most effective striker in Europe

La Gazzetta dello Sport (Giulio Di Feo and Andrea Pugliese) There’s a curious fact that Roma supporters are well aware of and, as the goals keep coming, they are starting to voice it more and more. It might be superstition, or it might be because they really believe it, but either way everyone likes to dream, and at the end of the day it costs nothing to dream. This fact is about Edin Dzeko, who has always struggled in top leagues in his first season before finding his true form the following year. This discovery coincides with his team winning the title. Like in 2008/09 in Germany (with Wolfsburg), or in 2011/12 in England (with Manchester City). This is why this anecdote has been doing the rounds in Rome, making hearts race and making fans start to dream. Just like Dzeko, who right now is the world’s most influential goalscorer.

We’ve done a bit of analysis, as statistics are objective and hard to refute. Every league in the world has been taken into consideration (just the first divisions, obviously), counting those leagues which have played a maximum of 15 games (so that they can be compared with Serie A, therefore we discounted those which follow the calendar year) and considering teams who have scored at least 27 goals at a rate of over 2 a game. We then found the best goalscorer in each team, and discovered that the Bosnian is the one who has the greatest impact: he has scored 34% of his team’s goals. By comparison, Messi and Suarez have scored 25% each at Barcelona, Bale and Ronaldo have 16% of Real Madrid’s goals, Mane has 20% at Liverpool. Level on 34% with Dzeko is Diego Costa (though Chelsea have only scored 26 goals, Roma have 29), while 1 percent above Dzeko (35%) is Luzern’s striker Schneuwly. However, he has played 2 more games, and the Swiss league certainly isn’t Serie A. Curiously, in Europe’s top leagues, the team who has scored most goals is Monaco (36 goals) but their top goalscorer is their right back Fabinho (5).

In essence, there is no one else like Dzeko, neither in Italy (where he has touched the ball 108 times in the opposition penalty area, at least 27 more than any other player), nor in Europe, where only Ronaldo (6.3) takes more shots per game on average than he does (5.5). Dzeko is also reaping the benefits of Roma’s attacking play, as they take an average of 19.8 shots per game (behind only Real Madrid, on 20.3). “I’m quite pleased with how I’ve started, I feel more prepared than I did in the past,” Dzeko told the Greek edition of FourFourTwo. “The goals are giving me confidence. Our objective? I always dream of more, even if the first thing I think about is the team and not myself. But I always critique myself, and that helps me to improve.” Tonight Dzeko will face the challenge of Greece with his Bosnia side: “It’s an important game, but not a decisive one. We’re here to win, but a draw wouldn’t be a bad result. We haven’t given up on first place, even though Belgium are favourites. Manolas? I’m sorry that he won’t be playing, I feel it’s my fault. But he’s on his way back.” In reality, he has already returned, playing in yesterday’s friendly against the Primavera (a 2-1 win, with penalties from Perotti and Strootman). And who knows whether something else might not be on its way back to Rome. After all, it costs nothing to dream…

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