Rome – and Miralem Pjanic – go mad for Edin Dzeko

Il Tempo (Alessandro Austini) Everyone’s mad about Dzeko. Including those who called him a flop last season, fogetting that his career spoke – and continues to speak – for itself. He has 28 goals in 34 appearances, a crazy record after his hat-trick against Villarreal, particularly given that there are still 3 and a half months to go this season. Roma are hoping to go all the way on 3 fronts and will be squeezing everything they can out of the Bosnian until the very last moment. The forward has become undroppable for Spalletti, and it will be the same story at the Olimpico tomorrow for the visit of Torino, who not only have many former Roma players in their ranks but also a striker – Belotti – who is chasing down Higuain and Dzeko at the top of the Serie A goalscoring charts.

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The Bosnian’s stats are impressive, and are so good that he’s in contention for the Golden Shoe – currently he’s just behind Cavani and Higuain, and level with Suarez. He’s also on course for another record: Roma’s best ever goalscorer in a single season. The record holder is currently Totti who scored 32 in 2006/07 – including 26 league goals that won him the Golden Shoe. Dzeko just needs 4 more to pass him, but in fact he’s already outdone himself – he’s never scored this many goals by February – and is on course to break his own records. He scored 36 goals in his best season at Wolfsburg (2008/09), and followed that up with 29 the following year. Many players in his position last summer would have jumped at the chance to leave. But not Edin – instead he scores, smiles, and keeps looking forward, without getting involved in the slightest bit of controversy following the heavy criticism he previously received.

Ultimately that’s a sign of his character, and experience tells him that he shouldn’t start to raise the bar too high as things can change very quickly in football. His friend Pjanic is still cheering him on: “He’s competing to become top scorer with Higuain, but if you give me the scudetto then I hope [Dzeko] becomes capocannoniere.” The comments are hardly surprising for a person who didn’t seem to worry about saying after the Coppa Italia final defeat to Lazio in 2013 that “A loss is a loss, but I’m happy that Lulic scored.” Who knows how Pipita took these comments, but Miralem was clearly somewhat nostalgic: “I miss the Rome climate, the sun doesn’t shine all year round in Turin and it’s much colder.” He also liked the photo posted by Strootman on Instagram after the Villarreal game, confirmation that – despite his ‘betrayal’ last summer – he hasn’t completely broken ties with his old club.

Dzeko preferred to take revenge in the capital itself, and the same can be said for Fazio and Emerson – 2 more great stories in Roma’s season. Both could actually be called up by Ventura as they both hold Italian passports, but the Argentine is set to be called up by Albiceleste coach Bauza who has confirmed his intention to select Fazio. Brazil’s coach Tite, meanwhile, will be at the Olimpico tomorrow to watch Emerson. “My dream is to play for the Selecao,” the wing back told Goal.com, “but if Italy were to come calling then I’d think about it.” He also revealed the secret to his renaissance this season. “I’ve learned how to defend under Spalletti, and my diet has also helped me a lot.” Giving up soft drinks and chocolate is easy if it means playing for Roma and Brazil…

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