Manuel Pellegrini said Edin Dzeko is showing why Manchester City did not sign Edinson Cavani or Robert Lewandowski.
Dzeko was named player of the tournament in the Barclays Asia Trophy, when the scored the only goal of their semi-final against South China and repeated the feat in Saturday’s decider against Sunderland with a spectacular strike, before later missing a penalty.
The Bosnian was unhappy at the Etihad Stadium last season, when he was often left on the bench by former manager Roberto Mancini, and had been expected to leave in the summer.
But Pellegrini was quick to say that Dzeko would stay and believes the striker’s performances in pre-season show why he is so keen to keep him.
"Not only in Hong Kong. I have a lot of trust in him,” the Chilean told Sky Sports.
City were linked with Borussia Dortmund top scorer Lewandowski while Cavani, who eventually joined Paris Saint-Germain, had been a target of Mancini’s.
Pellegrini added: "Everyone was talking before I arrived that we will bring in Cavani, Lewandowski, all those players. But I always trusted in Edin Dzeko and he is now playing the way I want. I am sure he will continue improving."
The two forwards Pellegrini has signed are Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic and Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo and the Spaniard made his first City start against Sunderland.
The 27-year-old combined well with Dzeko and Pellegrini said: "He is a player I knew very well and I was sure he would be a very successful player and again he showed what he can do."