With Dimitar Berbatov staying at Tottenham for next season, I want to raise a hypothetical question:
What if Berba had left Tottenham? Where would he have gone and how would he have fared there?
For simplicity’s sake, I’m limiting the target clubs to the top four in the Premiership.
Berbatov to Manchester United
Berbatov would have been welcomed with open arms as the final piece of the striking puzzle. His presence would have also precipitated the departure of one Louis Saha, I feel. With Ronaldo, Giggs, Scholes, Carrick and Rooney providing service (not to mention Nani and Anderson), Berba would have been odds on to be top-scorer for the season.
Berbatov to Chelsea
Hard to imagine Berbatov in a 4-5-1 disgused as a 4-3-3 – he’d start if Drogba wasn’t playing or he would then be competing with several other players for a spot on the wings, which isn’t ideal for a player like him.
Would have scored plenty of goals but he wouldn’t be the ideal fit (just like Sheva isn’t the ideal fit) and I doubt it would have worked out well.
Berbatov to Liverpool
One thing Berbatov has over Torres – proven in the Premiership. Berba would have slotted right in the Liverpool lineup and taken a starting berth. Don’t know if he would still have scored 30 goals at Liverpool but it’s a possibility, more than if he was at Chelsea or Tottenham for sure.
Berbatov to Arsenal
A move that would never have happened, and a good thing too – Arsenal with Berbatov plus one wide player would have been odds-on favourites for #3 and would have had a decent shot at the title. One player cannot change a club’s fortunes but he can change those of the players around him and sometimes a direct player like Berbatov can have a catalytical / inspirational effect that can raise the level of everyone around him, on and off the pitch.
It remains to be seen if Berbatov can, in his second season, do that for Tottenham. Like it or not, demand for the Bulgarian will increase year-on-year and if Tottenham are not playing in the Champions League in 2008/2009, serious questions will be asked of them next summer.