August 1, 2020
Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov believes that the Old Trafford club can challenge for the Premier League title next season as long as they can maintaining their current form. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were defeated just once since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes during the January transfer window, beaten 3-1 by Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final almost a fortnight ago. United finished the Premier League season 33 points adrift of champions Liverpool.
United went 14 league matches unbeaten since losing 2-0 to Burnley on the 22 January 2020, doing well in front of goal with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both scoring 22 goals this season and Mason Greenwood scoring 17. Key performances from Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes was the catalyst to United’s form on the pitch, grinding the results but running out of steam towards the end of the season with some poor performance because of fatigue.
Based on that, it is imperative that United strengthen the squad this summer as when the best players were removed from the team, United’s second string struggled to get the results Solskjaer needed to guarantee UEFA Champions League football before the last match of the season. In the end though, United achieved what they needed, finishing third in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium just last weekend.
Berbatov signed for United from Tottenham Hotspur back in the summer of 2008 for £28 million with the player leaving the club in the summer of 2012 with Robin van Persie arrived at the club from Arsenal. Berbatov made a total of 149 appearances for United, scoring 56 goals and 27 assists, winning two Premier League titles, one League Cup, two FA Community Shields, and the FIFA Club World Cup. Speaking to Betfair, which was reported by The Mirror, the Bulgarian said:
“It’s been a challenging few years, but the fact remains that United need to be challenging for the title.
“They need to improve again to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool next season, but they can do it.
“Every season is different and has its unique ups and downs, the teams you expect don’t always end up doing well, but with United you always expect them to be title contenders, especially if they make some signings.”
Berbatov also spoke about Fernandes, who has made 20 appearances at the club this season, scoring ten goals and eight assists. Ever since his first appearances for the club, that 0-0 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, the 25-year-old has been a class act for United. His drive, determination and leadership was something that United needed and I for one am glad to have him at the club. The Bulgarian passed comment on the player, confirming the good things he has change at the club, saying:
“The team’s spirit changed when he came in, he has blended in really well, connecting the back four and the attack.
“To step up and show that responsibility is huge, he’s been an amazing signing for them. He’s been a very pleasant surprise, because usually one player doesn’t make such a difference.”
Written by John Walker