Arsenal are linked with a shock move for former Manchester United’s striker Dimitar Berbatov. Tom Duncan feels the Fulham striker would be a perfect short-term signing for the Gunners.
Andrey Arshavin’s move to Arsenal on the 3rd February 2009 proved just how important the winter window can be. In a worrying Premier League campaign where Arsenal had already lost five times by the turn of the year, Arshavin grabbed six goals and eight assists in twelve league games to inspire the Gunners to a seemingly improbable Champions League place.
At the time of writing, Arsenal are leading the way at the top of the English Premier League. However, ankle injuries to Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner are threatening to derail the season which so far has seemed so promising. The Mirror reports that Arsene Wenger is plotting a January swoop for Fulham ace Dimitar Berbatov to solve the current striker crisis. Here are four reasons why it could prove to be a masterstroke.
In an Arsenal team completely devoid of players who have lifted the English Premier League, Berbatov’s experience of winning the title twice with Manchester United is invaluable. He has also played in Champions League finals, for Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 and United in 2009. Despite being on the losing team on both occasions, the fact that he will not be cup-tied should he join Arsenal will also boost their European campaign.
The winter transfer window is widely reputed to be a time whereby player valuations become inflated. Berbatov’s will become a free agent in six month’s time, and this is the main reason why the potential transfer to The Emirates is said to cost a mere £2 million. With Arsenal’s season hanging in the balance, such a cheap price could represent incredible value for money. Another prospected target, Diego Costa, will come at a cost which far exceeds this and also run the risk of failing to adapt quickly enough to the English game.
Foreign players joining English teams from overseas typically take time to adapt to the style of our domestic game: this has famously been the case for Arsenal legends Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry who took seven and eight games respectively to score their first goals as Gunners. Berbatov, however, has plied his trade in the English Premier League since 2006 and demonstrated how capable he is of quickly fitting into a new club last season by scoring twice during his first 90 minutes for Fulham. Additionally, Berbatov already lives in London so he won’t have to face the hassle of upping sticks to the capital.
Ideal Playing Style
Berbatov’s magnificent footballing brain will allow him to operate on the same wavelength as Arsenal’s similarly intelligent creative players: primarily Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Özil and Santi Cazorla. In terms of acting as cover for the first-choice Giroud, he is perfectly suited. The two players possess the same strengths: exceptional first touch, close ball control, superb vision and clever movement.
Berbatov should therefore excel in fulfilling the duties performed so expertly by Giroud that he has come to define the centre forward role as the focal point of Arsenal’s attack: holding the ball up, bringing others into play and providing the final pass.