Dimitar Berbatov – Really the next number 9?

With the inevitable sale of Louis Saha to whoever has good medical insurance the questions is asked as to who will inherit the number 9 shirt? Many people, including the footballing expert Mr Don Goodman, stated that “Rooney and Tevez are too similar to play together” and United are missing an ‘Old fashioned centre forward’ to ‘mix it up’. At the time I thought this was utter rubbish being stated and I still do. Firstly, Berbatov isn’t a player that you would describe as an ‘old fashioned’ centre forward. He has quite possibly the best touch in the Premiership, can hold the ball up and bring the midfield into play. The only reason people believe he can offer a different option is simply because of the size of the man rather than what he can offer with his superb talent. He is a scorer of one of my personal favourite Champions League goals of all time against Roma for Bayer Leverkusen:

So would Berbatov be a good signing for Manchester United next season? For £20Million, as some reports are suggesting, I think he would be a good signing and will allow both Tevez and Rooney to deploy deeper roles if playing in the Premier League, and when the inevitable move from Ronaldo to Madrid happens. Spurs are apparently holding out for £30Million for the player – which I think is too much. His goal scoring record is good but not outstanding by any means. I would much prefer Fergie to chase after Karim Benzema from Lyon (although Lyon are also asking for an astronomical fee of £48Million). Benzema, for me, was one of the best performers against United last season and would offer us a different option if required. Fast, strong, makes intelligent runs and is very similar to Ronaldo (Brazilian one) in his hayday. Benzema, at 20, has the world at his feet and Old Trafford would be a superb place for him to show this.

Yolkie also mentioned that United are watching Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid, a player that I think can become one of the best in the world, which is backed up by Spanish football expert Guillem Balague. He comments on the fact that Aguero will be one of the top three forward in the world in three years time – although he believes that Atletico Madrid is the best place for him at present. I disagree with that as I think he has the ability, character and temperament to play in the Premier League and would be a perfect replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo. One other thing to add, I don’t understand how many new Maradona’s there are going to be? Messi, Tevez, Aimar, Saviola, D’Alessandro, Ortega, Latorre (Old school) and Marinelli (was at Boro). Have I missed any out? So anyone that is small and Argentinian is apparently the new Maradona. Have a look at some of these Aguero goals from his Argentina days:

So, that big signing that we’re all eagerly anticipating, should hopefully be reaching it’s climax as we’re nearly a month away from the season. If I could pick the striker that I would most want at United it would Benzema, followed by Aguero (Don Goodman would have field day if he played up top with Rooney and Tevez) and then Berbatov. I don’t dislike Berbatov as a player, but I think the other two would really benefit United when we operate with such a versatile forward line. Benzema would terrorise Premier League defenses and I just hope that we get him before Chelsea do, or for that matter Real Madrid.

So who would you sign out of the three of them and why?

Christ i’m tall…

13 Comments on Dimitar Berbatov – Really the next number 9?

  1. totally agree bout berba i think he would slow our attack down but i tink kun aguero is better than benzema even wit all the hype about him and aguero in 5 years will b in d top 3 players in d world wit messi n anderson

  2. What makes you so sure Saha is going to go? Everything thus far has pointed at him staying and I personally think he will be an important squad player next season. Yep he’s had bad luck with injuries but dispite this he still scored goals when he was called upon and was the 4th top scorer if my memory serves me correctly.

    I think Berbatov would be a great addition to the squad though, he’s a totally different player to Saha, Rooney and Tevez and has an arrogance which I like. He’s a little like Cantona in the way he plays – some may see him as lazy but I see him as class and I really hope we can secure this signing as it’s pretty obvious that Ferguson is a keen admirer or his talents.

  3. Honestly mate I would go with your 3 in your order, Benzema is a class act but he has openly said he doesn’t want to move to England, and that he would prefer a move to Spain IF he left Lyon.

    I don’t expect or want any player to exactly be kissing the badge and saying they’re lifelong fans, that’s unrealistic, but a player who has us quite far down on his list of priorities is not for me. Berbatov has a desire to play for us, we don’t quite know with Aguero. I would say that Aguero seems more naturally a finisher – that is to say, he has quicker feet that Tevez or Rooney, so that would be something different he would add.

    Slightly worried about the Michael Owen rumours resurfacing as well. He’s an alright johnny on the spot but he’s not tall and his major qualities went when his hamstring became a banjo twang like Giggs’.

  4. Berbatov is a magic player. If he is indeed moody, then he is very much like Cantona, who had similar temperament. I think he will flourish at United. He is cavaliar in his approach to football, but I also think he has more speed than we know. I don’t want Benzema, I thought he was really found out in European championships.

  5. Craig – I don’t think it was Benzema who played poorly, he was just in an aging side that played poorly. I thought he was probably one of the bright sparks of the side – Buffon made a tremendous save from a thunderous shot.

    Do you not think he played well against us in the Champions League? In the Gerland Stadium, i’ve never seen anyone give Ferdinand and Vidic so many problems.

    I think Berbatov is a very talented footballer but is very different to Eric and although would be a good addition to the side – I would prefer the other two mentioned due to our style of play.

  6. Stretford-End, I think Berba IS as good as Eric. He can head the ball very well, can make the play for all those around him, (ask Robbie Keane – he has flourished playing alongside Berba), and Berba has certainly played well against us at Old Trafford. He was unlucky on more than one or two occasions not to score. I am not impressed at paying 28 million for him though, that is a STING by Spurs.

    Benzema, didn’t do badly against us at there place, but in an ageing side as you say in the Euro Championships, he should have stood out, but for me he didn’t. Aguero is a good player, but he loves the culture and climate in Madrid. It is hard to leave Madrid for Manchester, isn’t it lol.

    I don’t know why Fergie has cooled on Huntelaar, because the lad is a good header of the ball, a goalscorer supreme in Holland, and has a lot of pace. The lad has said several times in the press that he would jump at the chance to come and play for us. I think we should be getting Jan Klass and Berba, because both of them want to wear the United shirt, and both of them will play there heart out for us.

  7. As regards Berbatov, i’m in agreement with JC on this one. I think this guy would be an excellent signing for United. I for one, don’t really buy this suggestion from some observers that he’s ‘lazy’?

    For me, Berbatov has a knack of lulling defenders into a false sense of security (i.e defensive players feel that Berbatov doesn’t really look like he’s trying), but when the ball is delivered into the last third of the pitch, more often than not it’s in the back of the net, with Berbatov on the end of it. The guy is a talented and clever striker.

    What i find very impressive with Berbatov, is his link-up play with the rest of his team, he’s very good in keeping possession of the ball and bringing others into play. A good outlet to hold the ball up. He reminds me of a latter day Mark Hughes in this regard.

    Also, another plus about Berbatov is the way he has this knack of opening his body up and curling the ball into the corner of the net, he almost makes it look like he’s not really trying. The guy is a class act, i’ll be doing cartwheels if a player of his capabilities joins us.

  8. United always pay over the odds for players. Spurs stung us good over Carrick, and it won’t be any different with Berba. 30 million is way OTT, but so is 28 mil. Fergie got it right 1st time with 20 mil offer, but is prepared to go up to 24 to 25 mil tops. Will it be enough, not at todays greedy market prices I would think.

    Alan Brazil mentioned on Talk Sport this morning, that they are hearing Wes Brown is being made part of the Berba deal. If this is not just unsubstantiated gossip-mongering, then I will be disgusted with United’s management team. Wes had a brilliant season, and is vital player for us. Not to mention he’s a United player through and through!.

  9. Craig – Great points. Totally agree with everything you say. After reading my blog again it may have looked like I don’t fancy Berbatov. No so. I think he is pure quality BUT can we play him, Rooney and Tevez at the same time? If not would all three players be happy with a squad rotation policy? I don’t think either Rooney or Tevez deserve not to play. Berbatov is pure class, but so was Veron and although did play some memorable games – he over crowded that midfield (replacing Stam with Blanc didn’t help either!).

    On Brown, great performer last season and really took his chance. I would be gutted if he left but he did sign a new deal, which shows his commitment to the club and I’m sure Fergie will appreciate that.

    I think we’d be hypocritical if we had a pop at Spurs for asking £30Million for Berbatov so I think the most we should go is £22Million (although I’ve heard reports that a £25Million bid had been made). I think £22Million is a fair price but he is their player and United have to respect that…..unlike some clubs do.

  10. Stretford-End, ummmm, I see what you mean about Berba, Tev and Rooney playing together. Whether Berba likes it or not though, I think it will be horses for courses!. When Saha is fit, Fergie did play him, and he got important goals for us. I could see a very offensive side, of Nani, Rooney, Berba, Tev and Ronaldo – now that is frightening!. We need Berba to get into the box, and he is better than the Roon and Tev heading the high balls into the box. I don’t think he is a Ruud type player really, because Berba has more of an all round game.

    O heck, I forgot about Blanc – biggest mistake Fergie ever made, swapping those two.

    I know what you mean about not quibbling at Spurs asking price for Berba, but 30 mil is pure comedy though. I think Fergie will go to 25 mil, and hopefully Spurs will agree because they know Berba has wanted out for ages. Bye the way Stretford-End, do you think we should get rid of Saha, because if that lad can get fit, and I know it’s a big if, he will be still a great asset to us. I would hate him to go somewhere else, and suddenly have a massive injury free season for them!.

    Brown should not be part of any deal for Berba or anyone else. I think he had an amazing season for us. In fact, I don’t think Gary should take Wes’s place either, and should be used sparingly now, as Giggsy and Scholesy are. Don’t know what you think about this. It is hard, because Gary is such a massive red, and such a legend.

  11. Craig – I think Saha is a very good striker and was one of our best players at the start of the 06/07 season. But in any job, if someone is unable to produce their quality due to illness or injury – what is the point of keeping them there?

    Pacey strong player, who although wasn’t the best finisher has some very good qualities. But as I mentioned I think that his injury record over the course of 4 1/2 years is appalling. In four and half years he’s played 76 games and scored 42 goals. Rooney (signed nine months later) has played 171 times and scored 77 goals. The appearances are based on starts.

  12. Stretford-End, I hear you. I just dread Saha going somewhere else, and having an injury free season lol. I understand the odds, but it can happen. I just have to agree with you though, his injury record is appalling.

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