How much is Dimitar Berbatov really worth for Manchester United? A lot more than a simple transfer fee – irrespective of what that value may be.
I’m not going to join the rumour mill about whether Berbatov will remain with Manchester United at the end of the season or not but his lack of starts is echoing the drama surrounding Carlos Tevez before he jumped ship to Manchester City. For those who don’t remember, Ferguson was increasingly choosing Berbatov over Tevez that unsurprisingly resulted in Tevez exiting the Theatre of Dreams, stage left.
And the same is starting to occur this season with the dynamic Javier Hernandez often played in favour of the Bulgarian striker.
Berbatov has silenced many critics and sceptics (myself included) this season with his stunning goalscoring ability, including some terrific hattricks (not naming a certain Merseyside rival). He currently sits as the leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 20 goals and from 27 appearances his goal/game ratio is nothing to scoff at. So why do we still favour the young Mexican, ‘Chicharito’?
Hernandez has terrific movement – on and off the ball – and the speed to match. But his ability is not enough to show Berbatov the exit. Berbatov may not have the movement of many players but he has talent in front of goal and more importantly he is a different player than Hernandez and even Rooney. Manchester United’s side in 2008 when they took home the Premier League and Champions League crowns had a rare strength that goals game from everywhere and everyone. A versatile team is very hard to break down after all and Ferguson has a knack from being able to utilise players out of position to this advantage.
I’m amazed at how quickly opinions of Berbatov have swung. Prior to this season he wasn’t on the best of terms, to say the least, with Red Devil fans and he isn’t getting the greatest respect now, yet at this point earlier in the season he was a Manchester United legend:
Should Berbatov depart where does that leave the Red Devil’s forward line? Few people would doubt that the squad is lacking overall this season and losing another quality player certainly won’t help. Rooney and Hernandez are terrific assets – both as individual players and a team – but they aren’t enough to carry a team through an entire season. Injuries, backlog of games as well as poor form always hurt teams that lack depth on the bench, we’ve seen that with Arsenal in previous seasons, so to think Manchester United would survive just fine with Rooney and Hernandez alone is insane. Three world class strikers is always better than two.
The Red Devils have to start rebuilding their squad at the end of this season and needing to find another striker shouldn’t be on the agenda. Even if Berbatov is sold at a generous amount it’s no secret that strikers don’t always adapt to Manchester United straight away, or any big club actually, as was the case with Berbatov (Hernandez appears to be a blaring exception) so why not concentrate on bulking up the midfield and defense as well as replacing Edwin van der Sar?
We should stop attempting to directly compare Javier Hernandez with Dimitar Berbatov because they are very different player and both are strikers that Manchester United should try to hold on to.