COS contributor Alex Lee wonders if the Bulgarian will finally live up to his potential and win over the Old Trafford masses.
Bulgarian striker excels in Manchester United’s 3-1 victory over Celtic.
As Manchester United kicked off their pre-season tour of the Americas, one man was out to prove to Sir Alex Ferguson and maybe more importantly the United faithful he was worth his £23.4M fee.
Dimitar Berbatov has been accused of being unable to re-capture the form that persuaded Sir Alex to break the bank to bring the former Spurs striker to Old Trafford.
However yesterday as part of a youthful United lineup containing debutant Chris Smalling and the highly rated Tom Cleverley, its was Berbatov who shone the brightest against Celtic.
A performance full of touches of class and brilliance was a fitting spectacle for the fans 40,000 fans who filled the Rogers Centre to see two giants of British football clash.
Berbatov smashed home United’s first after some good work by Mame Biram Diouf, superbly bringing down the Senegalese strikers cross and finding the bottom left had corner of the Celtic net.
After Celtic equalised in the second half through former Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras’s spot kick, Berbatov went on a mission to win the game for Red Devils.
He first played a perfectly timed cross for United substitute Danny Welbeck to slide home, and then minutes later played a marvellous backheel to Tom Cleverey whose deflected effort put the game beyond Celtic.
The result would have pleased Sir Alex, but the performance of Berbatov may have delighted him more.
If the Bulgarian can keep impressing throughout pre-season Ferguson may be proved correct in not dipping into the transfer market for an established star to partner Wayne Rooney next season.
With Luis Suarez, Karim Benzema, Luis Fabiano and Mario Balotelli all being linked with a moves to Old Trafford for next season Berbatov is sure to want to prove he can get the goals to justify an inclusion in the team.
Sir Alex has always backed the mis-firing Bulgarian, and whilst the same could not been said for the United faithful – they have always backed a trier.
A point never more proved than Diego Forlans goal-shy spell at United, and despite the lack of goals they loved him for his work-rate
Berbatov undoubtably has more class than Forlan, but on the days it doesn’t go for him, he will always been labelled moody and lethargic.
However, if Berbatov can re-create this kind of performance of a regular basis then those off-days may be a rarity rather than the norm in the upcoming season.