Aug 31, 2012, 1:24 PM EDT
Fulham put quick use to the Moussa Dembélé money (well, at least part of it), snagging a player whose scored 48 goals in his last 108 Premier League appearances. In the process, Dimitar Berbatov has been liberated from Manchester United’s increasing oppressive striker depth chart.
Who is this guy: Berbatov moved to Manchester United in the summer of 2008 for £30 million (then $49.6 million). Over his first three seasons at Old Trafford, Berbatov posted 47 goals in 127 all-competition matches, though attacking riches at United saw Berba pushed down Alex Ferguson’s pecking order. He was left out of United’s team for the 2011 Champions League final and made only 12 Premier League appearance last season (scoring seven goals).
What does he do: A non-target No. 9, Berbatov is one of the more skilled strikers in the world. He’s great with the ball at his feet, though because of his style, he tends to slow the game down. At Tottenham (where he was before United), that worked well, with a team built toward his needs. For United, not so much.
How much did he cost: Unconfirmed speculation at this point has Fulham paying around £4 million ($6.3 million). That’s a great deal for Fulham, and while it’s horrible business for United, what else were they going to do? (Note: Sky Sports have since confirmed the £4 million fee.)
How does he fit: He’s a completely different player than Mladen Petric, Martin Jol’s incumbent No. 9, but with Dembélé gone, he’s an ideal addition. Dembélé’s presence on the ball provided a focal point in attack, and while Berbatov operates in a completely different part of the pitch, he’s still a man that can serve as that focal point.
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