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.
Aug 23, 2014, 3:38 PM EDT
Wenger believes Arsenal deserved a point after stirring comeback.
Aug 23, 2014, 3:14 PM EDT
Martinez upset at last 10 minutes, as Everton let 2-0 lead slip at home to Arsenal.
Aug 23, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT
Dortmund couldn’t find a goal, though castaway striker Julian Schieber netted twice for his new team as the Bundesliga roared into a new season.
Aug 23, 2014, 2:38 PM EDT
Gunners grab point at Everton, while Chelsea, West Ham and Swansea win.
Aug 23, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT
Gunners come back from 2-0 down to bag crucial point at Everton.
Aug 23, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
Crystal Palace is a club in turmoil, and caretaker manager Keith Millen says it’s unfair to the players.
Aug 23, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
The Blues boss says his team had to work for it, but ultimately dominated newly-promoted Leicester City on Saturday.
Aug 23, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT
Gunners defend sloppily and Everton take full advantage. Watch the 2nd half live, here.
Aug 23, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT
Dyche: “We knew this would be a challenge, a difficult one, and we are enjoying the way the team are operating, but we need to get points on the board.”
Aug 23, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT
Karim Bellarabi nutmegged Matthias Ginter and put Bayer Leverkusen into the record books nine seconds into the match at Dortmund.
Aug 23, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT
Toffees and Gunners clash at Goodison as top four hopefuls collide. Watch live, here.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT
Dyer’s solo strike the difference as brave Burnley fall at the Liberty.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT
Three different Hammers netted for Sam Allardyce as West Ham rebounded from a loss to Spurs to win a London derby at Palace.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Saints, Baggies fail to score in closely fought encounter on the South Coast.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT
The Foxes were game, but Chelsea’s class shone through by the time 90 minutes were in the books.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT
The Newcastle boss went above and beyond the call of duty, putting on clown shoes for a moment on the sidelines.
Aug 23, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT
Four games on the go, but goals are scarce. Watch them all live, here.
Aug 23, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT
American goalkeeper Brad Guzan helped Aston Villa stay unbeaten by keeping Newcastle at bay in a scoreless draw at Villa Park.
Aug 23, 2014, 9:36 AM EDT
West Ham’s second London derby in as many weeks provides a chance at win No. 1.
Aug 23, 2014, 9:27 AM EDT
Can the Swans sweep aside new boys Burnley? Watch live, right here.
- Saturday Premier League roundup: Chelsea win again, Arsenal fight back 0
- Everton 2-2 Arsenal: Late goals seals dramatic comeback for Gunners 1
- Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City: Costa scores again, Hazard ensures win 1
- Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle: Guzan saves a point as Villa moves top 0
- ‘Powerful explosions’ rock Shakhtar Donetsk’s home stadium in Ukraine 2
- WATCH: Premier League online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 2 0