Dzeko took a hit to his leg in the second half of Manchester City's match vs. Liverpool and had to be replaced by Sergio Aguero:
67. Stoppage in play as Edin Dzeko receives treatment for a knock. Meanwhile @aguerosergiokun is stripped and ready to come on.— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) August 25, 2014
Not long after his arrival, Aguero scored to put City up 3-0, and Henry Winter of The Telegraph weighed in on City's firepower in attack:
City's strength in depth again clear. Dzeko limps off. Aguero runs on and scores. 3-0 to #mcfc. "That's why we're champions" sing home fans— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) August 25, 2014
Of course, perhaps City should have suspected the injury bug would bite Dzeko. A season ago, both Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic each missed significant time to injuries. This year, Alvaro Negredo was shelved early in the season due to a broken foot.
City have excellent depth at the position, but Dzeko has proven to be one of their most important players. In the 2013-14 season he scored 28 goals in all competitions, including a vital 16 tallies in the Premier League campaign. He was particularly valuable down the stretch of City's title-winning season, scoring 11 goals in his last 13 EPL games.
That performance convinced the club that Dzeko was one to keep around for the long term, and they set to work on extending his contract. As that deal was being finalized, manager Manuel Pellegrini told Sky Sports he was quite pleased with the player's development at the club:
He finished last season playing very well and was one of the best players in this game. He worked hard and won a lot of aerial duels. It was a complete game from him. It's not strange for me to see him play like that—he finished last season playing very well. He has grown. He's a team player.
I'm very happy for him. That's why he is renewing his contract here—he has a very important duty in our team. But I repeat, Edin finished last season playing the same way as he has started.
Indeed, he's continued to be an important presence for the team this year, assisting on a goal and earning an 7.2 average match rating from WhoScored.com. And Pellegrini's belief in Dzeko has always been deeply rooted, as Daniel Taylor of The Guardian tweeted about after the team's first game of the season:
Heard interesting line out of #MCFC today about Roberto Mancini wanting to sign Edinson Cavani in his final season at club (1/2)— Daniel Taylor (@DTguardian) August 17, 2014
(2/2) As soon as Pellegrini came in, he kiboshed deal. Preferred to keep faith in Dzeko, as proven Prem player. Clearly thinks lot of him— Daniel Taylor (@DTguardian) August 17, 2014
And there's no doubt City consider him a pillar of the club, as he was one of many players to extend their contracts, which included David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Aleksandar Kolarov.
The hope will be for both Dzeko and City that his injury isn't too serious and he can return to action sooner rather than later. For Dzeko, a long absence could see him lose his play in the first team given City's glut of talented attackers. And for a City team looking to be competitive on a number of fronts, both domestically and in Europe, losing a player of Dzeko's talents is a major loss and hurts their depth.
If ever there was a side built to deal with injuries, it is this City side. But getting Dzeko back as soon as possible will be vital to the team's continued success nonetheless.