Do Manchester United Really Need Klass Jan-Huntelaar?

By on November 3, 2011

Manchester United scored 78 Premier League goals last season, and the clubs £30 million signing, Dimitar Berbatov scored over one quarter of all of those goals. After two seasons with just 21 League goals and countless cries of ridicule aimed at him and the club for an atrocious waste of money, the Bulgarian was finally fulfilling the expectation placed upon him by his enormous price tag.

His calm, elegant and simply sublime style of play had finally warmed to the majority of sceptical fans who were perhaps quick to jump to the conclusion that this ageing Bulgarian would not fit into a United side which has traditionally been most dangerous from the tireless, pacey onslaught of persistent energetic attacks. His goals had proved his critics wrong, however the 30 year-old does not seem to have convinced the critic whom he had been most eager to impress; Sir Alex Ferguson.

The United manager is of course delighted with his players goals from last season, and it is obvious the Scot has a great deal of admiration for the former Tottenham striker – after all, he did invest over £30 million in him – yet game time has been short for Berbatov this season. This unfortunate trend began on the back-end of last season when Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez really got going as the preferred strike-partnership. Their attacking dominance was laid out clearly for Berbatov when he didn’t even make the bench for the Champions League Final at Wembley in May.

Naturally, Berbatov has been linked with moves away from Old Trafford because of it; the assumption being that the striker cannot bear the sight of the United bench any longer and must move to a club which appreciates his talents enough to play him on a regular basis. The problem with this is, that Berbatov has stated quite clearly less than one month ago that he is delighted to be at Manchester United and that he plays for a club he “loves,” not for money, but for success.

That hasn’t stopped the dubious suggestions he’s on his way out very soon, and then the required replacement his departure would incur. The prospective United newbie? Klass Jan-Huntelaar. Why? Because he has scored 21 goals in just 18 games for his club Schalke so far this season and is very much in form and playing regularly. United have been linked to the Dutch striker during his time at Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan, but no deal ever materialized – with Berbatov “almost a certainty” to be out of United’s door this summer, Sir Alex will finally get what he has always wanted; his very own Huntelaar.

So what will it be for Manchester United? Do they keep Berbatov at the club he loves and squeeze as many goals as possible out of his gracefully skilful and intelligent footballing mind, or do they opt for a Dutchman two years younger and in top goalscoring form thanks to his goal poacher style?

Yes, Huntlaar is fantastic in front of goal, yes, he takes his chances, yes, he wins games – but don’t Manchester United already have Javier Hernandez and Michael Owen who cost a combined total of just £6 million – far less than how much Schalke would command United to pay for Huntelaar? So do United need him?

The answer is, no. United’s priority in the next transfer window must surely be adding to the midfield rather than worrying about further strikers. The club have plenty of attackers, from growing youth to strong experience. Berbatov must surely at least be allowed to run down his remaining contract and complete his time in Manchester rather than be used as bait for another striker. He has had the utmost respect for United since joining, without so much as a complaint when left out of the team – and no doubt Sir Alex Ferguson will reward that with his.

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