Is Berbatov The Answer?

Preston MaddenCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2008

As Manchester United fans await the first victory of the new Premier League season, many are wondering if Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson will make a move to bolster United's front line. The first weekend of the Premier League season didn't go as planned for the Red Devils. In a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United, the Red Devils looked depleted, especially up front. From Carlos Tevez missing in action due to a family death in Argentina, to Louis Saha continually fighting match fitness, Manchester United was desperately missing out and out strikers. Wayne Rooney as good as he is, is not an out and out striker, and Frazier Campbell is still a very young work in progress. So Red Devil fans are asking, "Is Dimitar Berbatov the answer?"
No one doubts the incredible talent of the prolific Tottenham Hotspur striker. He is tall, lengthy, and has great finishing skills. However, some believe that the Bulgarian has a bit of an attitude problem. Berbatov has been known to get crosswise with certain managers, including former Spurs Manager Martin Jol and current manager Juande Ramos. Many of these problems have resulted because of Berbatov's incredibly strong desire to leave Tottenham for Manchester United.
And then there is the issue of the huge transfer fee that Tottenham is commanding, standing firm at £30 million. However, United has reportedly bid upwards of £25 million and will go no higher.

Is Berbatov worth this money?
Berbatov has shown flashes of absolute brilliance: four goals in a December 2007 match between Tottenham and Reading and 46 goals in 101 career appearances for Tottenham. He clearly has the skill and technique to be a first choice striker for the most prolific club in the Premier League. However, is he worth the price?
Consider United's other options. Ajax striker Klass Jan Huntelaar has been rumored to be packing his bags for a top flight European club for some time now. Manchester United and Real Madrid both have been rumored to be very interested in securing his services. Huntelaar has great skill and, like Berbatov. is a great finisher. Despite this, many wonder if he has the talent to be a first-rate striker in the Premier League, since he plays in the less-competitive Eredivise league. Huntelaar has been known to destroy Eredivise opponent backline's. But are these inferior defenses worthy of a fair valuation of Huntelaar's true talent? For nearly £10 million less than Berbatov, he might be worth the risk.
Two other viable options: Blackburn's Roque Santa Cruz and doing nothing. The Blackburn Rovers new boss and former United star Paul Ince has already declared that Santa Cruz will be going nowhere. But in a sport where money seems to have the upper hand, for the right price Santa Cruz could be on his way to Old Trafford. Ever since arriving at the Premier League from Bayern Munich in 2007, the Paraguayan hit man has been nothing short of sensational. The talented Rovers striker has bagged 20 goals in 37 appearances for Blackburn, proving that he can play at a very high level in the top flight. Would a £22-million bid convince Blackburn to let the Paraguayan go to Old Trafford?
The final realistic option is for Sir Alex Ferguson to suck it up and push forward with the talent he has right now. Earlier this week following the draw with Newcastle United, Ferguson stated that he liked his current squad and that no changes were needed. It's hard to argue with a manager who has won the Premier League 10 times and the UEFA Champions League two times. But he has also been quoted as saying that he would love to have four strikers like he did when he won the treble in 1999. Ferguson could be trying to force Tottenham's hand or he could be honest. Only time will tell. Many believe that it will be Berbatov. But you never know with Sir Alex.