Dimitar Berbatov: Why Manchester United Should Cut Ties with the Striker
Dimitar Berbatov looks set to leave Manchester United this summer—and it's about time too.
There's no doubting the 31-year-old striker has been of good use to the Red Devils since joining in August 2008 in that staggering £30.75 million transfer from Tottenham Hotspur.
He was the league's top scorer in 2010-11, with his 20 goals in the Premier League launching United to an historic 19th top-flight title—surpassing the Liverpool record of 18 titles in the process.
However, for all his cost, that campaign was the only one of note regarding Berbatov and his Old Trafford career.
A failure to cope with the weight of expectancy following his big move has plagued the Bulgarian throughout his spell at United, and with his influence for the club now well and truly reaching an impasse, now's the time for both parties to cut ties.
As far as Manchester United are concerned, here's why they should cut ties with the striker.
Dimitar Berbatov reportedly earns £90,000 a week in wages at United (h/t Daily Mirror), costing the club £4.68 million a year.
Such money is a waste for a player who, in the words of the manager, won't be getting much first-team football this season.
On top of that, being fourth-choice striker, if Berbatov isn't offloaded soon, his earnings could cause disharmony in the squad, especially seen as a lot of players who see more game time than him—especially Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez in the strikers' pecking order—earn considerably less than the Bulgarian.
Should Manchester United Sell Dimitar Berbatov?
Berbatov is a highly inconsistent goalscorer.
In his 20-goal season for United, five of those goals came in one game against Blackburn Rovers, as well as three in a match against Liverpool.
They are fine achievements, but it also meant his remaining 12 goals came from 30 appearances, not exactly £30.75 million form.
And this season, while Berbatov scored a respectable nine goals in 21 games, he scored those goals in just six matches, meaning he went 15 matches without a goal.
With Wayne Rooney also a fairly inconsistent scorer (though to a much lesser degree), it's clear to see why United are chasing Robin van Persie, who found the net in 24 different matches for Arsenal last season.
Berbatov's style doesn't work at United anymore.
The Bulgarian is the same type of player as Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck—he drops between the opponent's defensive and midfield lines in search of the ball.
That means the only player he can effectively be paired with up front is Javier Hernandez, a goal-poacher who plays on the last shoulder.
And considering Hernandez isn't at the level of Welbeck or Rooney, a partnership with Berbatov isn't going to be the most potent goal threat United can offer.
Otherwise, if Berbatov was partnered with Rooney or Welbeck, such is their styles that United wouldn't be able to attack at a high tempo (an increasingly important tactic in Premier League football), as there'd be no immediate options in the penalty area, meaning the wingers or central midfielders would have to retain possession for longer.
Which, again, is why United are chasing Van Persie, a player who can be a top goal-poacher.
Manchester United value their Bulgarian forward at £6 million given he has 12 months remaining on his contract (h/t Daily Mirror), and so if the club can offload him, they will free up funds of over £10 million.
Essentially, by selling Dimitar Berbatov, the club will have the money they need to pursue one of their top transfer targets and, in the process will be swapping "deadwood" for a player of significantly more value to the first team.
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