Dimitar Berbatov Leaves Man Utd: Why Fulham Have Achieved a Major Transfer Coup

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Dimitar Berbatov Leaves Man Utd: Why Fulham Have Achieved a Major Transfer Coup
Clive Rose/Getty Images

In the race to sign Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham have won first prize.

Sky Sports reported the news on Twitter early Friday morning:

 

 

 

Considered a target for major European sides like Juventus (Serie A), Fiorentina (Serie A) and Premier League top clubs like Arsenal and Tottenham, the 31-year-old Bulgarian was persuaded by none other than former manger—and now current manager—Martin Jol. 

"I'm delighted to have signed for Fulham and I look forward to playing under Martin Jol once again," Berbatov told reporters on Fulham's official site this morning. 

He added, "As soon as I was aware of Fulham's interest my decision to join was an easy one to make."

"I'm impressed with the set up here and the people have made me feel welcome. There is a close and personal feel around the club and I can't wait to get started."

The signing, of course, represents a major coup by Southwest London club.  Not only has Fulham captured one of the more prized transfers of the summer market—a player that, again, was sought after by much larger, richer teams—but they've managed to mitigate the potential risk of losing star player Clint Dempsey. 

Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Berbatov's 5 goal performance against Blackburn is historic.

Additionally, they've also signed a great player. 

Berbatov scored 56 goals in 149 appearances for Manchester United.  It's deceivingly overwhelming goal return, unless you look at the numbers closer.  In 2010-11, the Bulgarian finished tied for first as the EPL's top scorer with Manchester City's Carlos Tevez. 

A tall, lanky but exceptionally smooth customer, Berbatov won admirers for his ballerina-like ability in the air and knack for scoring exceptional goals. The highlight of his career was a jaw-dropping performance on November 27, 2010 against Blackburn, where he netted five goals in a 7-1 victory against the Rovers. 

Unfortunately, his perceived lack of effort frustrated some fans as well as Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who sat Berbatov for the majority of last season.  At Fulham, the player now has a chance for redemption, and few would doubt he has the quality to do so. 

Likely to be partnered with the terrific newcomer Mladen Petric or the Bryan Ruis—or, perhaps, in a three-man forward tandem—Berbatov is in the perfect situation to succeed once against the Premier League.  

What a job by Fulham. 

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