Fulham snagged striker Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United on August 31. The dynamic goal scorer is already endearing himself to the Fulham faithful, and showing Man U that they will miss him greatly.
Berbatov chose to go to the Cottagers over numerous offers from other teams. It’s a match the 31-year-old is happy to enjoy.
"I'm very happy to be signing for Fulham and to come and play in the Premier League," he told the Fulham website (via BBC.com).
The Bulgarian goal scorer netted 48 goals in his nearly five-year career at Man U. He joins Fulham as a decorated goal scorer and will be a welcomed asset to the Cottagers attack.
Moving out of a very physical league like the Bundesliga and into the Premier League was a great move for Berbatov. His success garnered a $45 million contract from Man U during the transfer window in 2008. He lived up to every penny.
Now, Berbatov and the Red Devils have parted ways. Apart, these two may both reach even greater levels of success in the coming seasons. Man U is one of the most storied clubs in all of football, but they are going to miss Berbatov for these three reasons.
No one can doubt the sheer skill of Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian is the first non-Englishman to score five goals in a single match. He did so in Man U’s 7-1 win over Blackburn in November 2010.
The 31-year old is one of the better scorers in the game and he will be able to showcase that talent on a greater level in Fulham. After joining the English ranks in 2006 with Tottenham Hotspur, Berbatov has scored 75 goals.
He has the ability to create beautiful scoring plays in an instant. Berbatov won the Premier League’s Golden Boot in 2011, a solid award to display his abilities.
After a rough ending to his time with the Red Devils, Berbatov has a chance to regain his form and get back to the playmaker that he has been in the past. The cerebral striker has a new home and will look to put his talents on display in his improved role with the new club.
A Calculated Attack
Fulham may have picked up one of the most heady attackers in the game today, and just in time. Currently sitting with nine points in the Premier League standings, Fulham now have four goal scorers with at least two goals, more than any other team in the league.
Berbatov adds a calming, but swift, element to the Cottagers attack. The Bulgarian provided a nifty dish to Hugo Rodellega to open the scoring in a 2-1 Fulham win over Wigan on September 22.
With three points in three matches, it appears the Cottagers are a good fit for Berbatov’s offensive abilities. Great touch, great vision, great composure and great production have provided a spark to the Fulham squad.
In two starts, Fulham are 2-0 and are outscoring opponents 5-1 in the last two matches.
Goal Scoring, and Lots of It
Berbatov is arguably one of the most talented strikers in the game. It’s tough to argue with 77 EPL goals in his career, including two in his first start for the Cottagers on September 15.
The Bulgarian is one of the top scorers in the game. He proved that to West Bromwich Albion nearly two weeks ago. He scored both goals in his first half in a new uniform and seemed to be consistently involved in all of the Cottagers’ best play. Berbatov scored in the 32nd minute and on a penalty kick late in the first half.
There is little reason to believe his production will slow. Forbes.com writer Bobby McMahon called the Berbatov-Fulham relationship a “perfect match.”
He may be right, though his reasoning probably didn’t sit well with Cottagers fans. Averaging a point per match, Berbatov seems to love his new home. That relationship should only continue to grow stronger as chemistry and production grows.
While Fulham may not be contenders for the EPL, the addition of the talented striker has brought a new energy to the pitch. He has made the Cottagers a stronger, more dynamic and more technical attacking force. That improvement should help Fulham for the next few seasons.
One thing is for sure, he is proving to all those back at Man U that they are going to miss his production. They probably should have given him a bigger role in the offense over the last few weeks.