Jan 10, 2014, 5:04 PM EDT
As the English media continues to force this rumor through the presses, it’s hard not to ask the simple question:
Sure, Arsenal need striker depth, Berbatov is nearing the end of his contract, and Arsene Wenger is a frugal manager.
But that’s about all that fits this situation.
First of all, Berbatov doesn’t do sitting on the bench. It’s been heavily documented over the years how much Dimitar’s confidence plays into his success or failure on a given day.
Even match to match, as attacking options dwindle in a defensive showdown, Berbatov makes less and less noise throughout such a match. Sitting on the bench caused him to ask to leave Manchester United two summers ago.
So why would he move to Arsenal, where he would be the third choice striker? Wenger needs to get quality depth up front in the worst-case scenario – an injury to Olivier Giroud. But he needs to find a player who would accept such a role, playing behind Giroud and Lukas Podolski, and Berbatov would surely be against that.
What’s there to scoff at when moving to a title contender?
Well, the Bulgarian is the man at Fulham. Even having scored just four goals this season, the attack still runs through him. He has the Fulham youngsters on a string, playing them into his hand like a marionette.
Berbatov has developed an exceptional relationship with a number of the young Fulham attack men, especially Alex Kacaniklic. The 22-year-old Swedish winger often found himself on the end of vicious verbal assaults during the beginning of Berbatov’s Fulham tenure. Now, Berbatov has the young talent feeding him the ball at every opportunity.
And despite Fulham’s precarious league position, with Premier League status still very much in doubt for next season, Berbatov has nothing to worry about. His contract expires at the end of the season, and he’s almost a guarantee to depart Craven Cottage when his deal runs out.
Finally, that precarious league position Fulham find themselves in only serves to strengthen their desire to keep their main talisman. With Bryan Ruiz set for departure, why on earth would they sell Berbatov and leave themselves entirely empty up front? Should Berbatov leave the friendly confines on the banks of the Thames, Fulham will surely be playing Championship soccer next year.
Not surprisingly, the English media also continue to ignore the comments of both managers squashing the deal. Rene Meulensteen publicly acknowledged he is aware of the 32-year-old’s importance to the club’s relegation battle, saying, “He is a Fulham player & a very important one for us.”
If that’s not enough, Wenger also did his best to put the rumors to rest, saying a week ago, “‘I won’t go into any specific names. That would be disrespectful. We are assessing our options which are restricted. Berbatov is not a name we have considered.”
So while injuries to Nicolas Bendtner and Theo Walcott have Wenger searching for cover at not just the striker spot but the wing position as well, don’t expect a mercurial Bulgarian with a sublime first touch to be the final choice.
Sep 1, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT
“Today two powers were brought together, the hand of God and that of the Pope,” Maradona joked. No, really. That’s what he said.
Sep 1, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT
How do you think United will line up?
Sep 1, 2014, 10:29 PM EDT
From a 18-year-old Jamaican-English midfielder to a 34-year-old veteran goalkeeper, this team takes a ride through all types of players.
Sep 1, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT
In the end, the player had to come from the nine-goal thriller at Goodison Park.
Sep 1, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT
Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe bring you plenty of analysis on the summer transfer window’s Deadline Day.
Sep 1, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
Passing or failing? Take a gander at how each Premier League team fared.
Sep 1, 2014, 8:32 PM EDT
Falcao signs for United, arrives on loan from Monaco with view to a permanent transfer.
Sep 1, 2014, 8:09 PM EDT
Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck went away to London for international break, and won’t return to the club after sealing a move to Arsenal.
Sep 1, 2014, 7:26 PM EDT
Nantes, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa are all surprising early-season teams, and Americans are playing big roles in each club’s success.
Sep 1, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT
The biggest confirmed transfers on Deadline Day including Premier League teams.
Sep 1, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT
If Andre Villas-Boas thought Emmanuel Adebayor was hard to handle, wait til he gets a load of this American character.
Sep 1, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT
Alderweireld arrives on loan, as Mane deal agreed.
Sep 1, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT
Negredo leaves City, heads back to Spain to play for Valencia.
Sep 1, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
Watch live online, right here.
Sep 1, 2014, 5:42 PM EDT
Hull busy on Deadline Day as Ramirez joins on loan, plus Ben Arfa.
Sep 1, 2014, 5:37 PM EDT
In the words of NHL commentator Rick Jeanneret, roll the highlight reel for Ibra, Cavani and PSG, and the lowlight reel for one poor keeper.
Sep 1, 2014, 4:40 PM EDT
Not a huge risk for Arsenal, but certainly a good bit of business for United. Could Welbeck become the next Daniel Sturridge?
Sep 1, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT
Jermain Defoe, Danny Welbeck and Hatem Ben Arfa all make one last run through the rumor mill as the deadline draws near.
Sep 1, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT
McArthur and Fryers arrive at Selhurst Park.
Sep 1, 2014, 3:49 PM EDT
The Dutch international rejoins his World Cup boss for four seasons at “the biggest club in the world.”
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