Just in time for the start of the season’s second half, FC Bayern is getting involved with the transfer rumor mill. And the first pick-up rumor is a recycled one: the club is said to be looking at out-of-favor Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.
The Berba-to-Bayern story was floated this past spring (I’d link to it, but I dislike the way I was writing back then). As a player, Berbatov break down like this:
- Good touch on the ball
- Has a hard, accurate shot
- Pretty good goal-scoring record - notched double-digit goals for 8 straight years (going back to his Leverküsen days), including a tied-for-Premier League-best 20 last season
- I’m partial to footballers that smoke cigarettes
- Inconsistent - he will score multiple goals in three straight games, then disappear and give you nothing for a month
- Looks kind of lazy on the pitch
- He’ll be 31 later this month, so he’s not a long-term solution to anything
He has talent, there’s no denying that. But this possible move comes with a boat-load of concerns. Specifically: does he fit in ahead of both Olic and Petersen? If so, does that basically mean that Olic is done? Just after we pledged to keep him for our spring-time run and he looked like he was rounding into shape?
How much playing time would Berbatov actually get? If he’s angry that he’s not seeing much of the pitch in England, why would his mood improve to take up the same role in Germany?
And, anyway, exactly how good is he? Sir Alex never liked him, despite a pretty good goal-scoring record. It was one thing to see that he lost his spot to the Rooney-Chicharito combination, but now it looks like Danny Wellbeck is eating his lunch.
I think the question of whether or not this would be a good move would come down to Berbatov’s role, and how it fits in with his expectations. If he comes here thinking he’s going to revitalize his career and take Gomez’s spot … well, he’s only going to be disappointed (and waste our € 8 million).
But if he understands that he’s going to be a purely situational guy, a player that comes in for the last 20 minutes to give us a spark, or perhaps carries the load in lesser matches, and he’s actually OK with that … I mean, it could be useful to have him on the bench in case of emergencies. Petersen has shown a lot of promise, and I think he has the potential to be a great striker. But let’s be honest - right now, as far as games taking place this season, Berbatov is a superior player. If this is our year to go for silverware, an upgrade at the back-up striker position is nothing to laugh off.
This story is still developing, we’ll be back with more as events unfold. For the latest, stay tuned to our twitter feed at http://twitter.com/bayern_offside. Also, as promised - a few more pictures from our Indian correspondents. Thanks for reading.