Football

Berbatov unlikely to be missed

Berbatov is likely to leave United this summer. (©GettyImages)
Berbatov is likely to leave United this summer. (©GettyImages).

Any Manchester United fans believing that Sir Alex Ferguson's admission that Dimitar Berbatov could leave the club in the summer will spark a frenzy of transfer activity are likely to be disappointed.

Not only are the club likely to use the summer to further erode their substantial debt following last year's £47 million transfer splurge, but the fact of the matter is the void Berbatov will leave isn't one worth filling.

The Bulgarian's appearances this season have been as limited as ever during his Old Trafford career, with just five league starts coming his way. Just reward for his lack-luster showings in the Carling Cup and Champions League, which contributed to early United exits.

In truth, there is a direct correlation between those cup showings and the rest of his United career, which has been marred by a playing style that has failed to endear him to the locals.

Upon joining the current Premier League champions for a club record fee, Berbatov appeared on the face of it to possess similar talents to that of Eric Cantona; with a carefree approach and the effortless ability to thrill.

The reality was that the 31-year-old has lacked the intensity of the Frenchman, a trait that has undermined his four-season spell.

Therefore, when he did produce significant contributions, such as his five-goal haul against Blackburn Rovers, or his brilliant overhead kick against Liverpool, one of three against the old enemy, rather than being hailed, questions surrounding the regularity of Berbatov's brilliance reared it's ugly head.

Unchallenged to the role as Wayne Rooney's main strike partner for his first two years at the club, made easier with the departure of Carlos Tevez after his first season, Berbatov simply treaded water, with 21 goals coming in 53 league starts.

Once faced with some competition for the second birth up front, amid United's brief insistence with fielding Rooney on his own, in the form of Javier Hernandez, Berbatov's form steadily improved, as he finished joint top scorer in the Premier League last season.

The fluctuation of his form along with his often passive approach play means his career at United is unlikely to held in high esteem.

As a result, Ferguson will see little point in replacing a player whose limited contribution doesn't require filling. Increasing opportunities for Danny Welbeck and improved fitness of Hernandez will fill the deficit of goals, while being able to blood England Under-21 international Will Keane can help introduce the club's new generation.

For all his style, it's Berbatov's lack of substance that is likely to see his United career quickly become a distant memory.

Topics:
European News
Dimitar Berbatov
Football
League Cup
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United

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