If the rumor mill is as rife and as ripe as it looks to be, the word on the street is that Dimitar Berbatov wants to leave Craven Cottage. Whether it be because he has experienced a higher standard of playing whilst spending is time at White Heart Lane and Old Trafford, or simply because with so much change and uncertainty going on with the Cottages, either way you look at it, here is a proven goal scorer who can still perform at the highest level.
With the latest setback of both Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard‘s injuries, Liverpool are going to be in need of bringing in not only cover for the England striker while he makes his way back from injury over the Christmas period, but also should they still be serious tittle and Champions League contenders, here is a striker that can be brought on board to strengthen not only their strike force, but their tittle credentials.
Statistically, this season has be a disaster for anyone associated with Fulham FC — just ask the recently departed Martin Jol — and unfortunately this displays in Berbatov’s stats too.
Digging deeper at the two comparisons, Berbatov has very similar stats to Sturridge, some below (passing accuracy, passing accuracy in the opponents half, duels lost), but has some above (duels won, aerials won), however, still suggesting that the threat is still there.
The stats that are a concern are Berbatov’s conversion stats. Only scoring three times this season from a total of 25 attempts (which includes two penalties) at a success rate of 12 percent compared to Sturridge’s 25 percent, which could be a concern for some of the Liverpool faithful. However, if you dig deeper into the stats, I can assure you that the midfield of Fulham have got very little to offer in attacking comparison to the likes of Gerrard, Phileppe Couthinio, Victor Moses and Jordan Henderson.
The biggest question regarding the 6-foot-2 Bulgarian is never going to be his ability — his light footing, touches and turns, excellent heading ability and vision for others — but rather keeping him playing and happy. In the last couple of weeks since news broke about his unhappiness, it’s almost as though he’s using his remaining days as a public CV for other clubs to come calling with some very respectable displays. The second question that would need to be asked is at what cost are you prepared to fit him into the evolving Liverpool squad? For the immediate future I can see him fitting into the Liverpool squad they way Teddy Sherringham did at Manchester United during the late 90s.
He still has so much to give and a vast amount of experience that the younger players like Raheem Sterling, Lago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Moses can learn from. I don’t see Fulham getting more that £5 million for a player soon to turn 32, but I can see Liverpool getting excellent use out of a man who could help them clinch that European spot, and possibly even the league.
Follow Karl Hassler @TheProHass.