Okay, while problem isn’t the right word to use to describe the club and League’s top goalscorer, when United go into the final straight of the season after the International break, they will more than likely do so with the emerging forward partnership of Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney – leaving the enigmatic Bulgarian confined to the substitute’s bench.
While it’s a welcome selection headache for Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s not a welcoming feeling for a player enjoying the most prolific season he’s had in English League football.
Berbatov responded to coming on as a 45th minute substitute against Bolton at the weekend by scoring the game’s only goal and his 20th of the season with only two minutes remaining that could be a defining moment in United’s campaign if they are to win title number 19.
United’s number nine has been vital to the club’s League position but before Saturday hadn’t scored since he got a brace against Blackpool at the end of January. Such is the fickle nature of top-flight football one below par performance can see a player dropped and that coupled with form of Hernandez has seen Berbatov start only two of United’s last nine games.
Berbatov’s game sees the striker drop deep and thrive in games where he is allowed to dictate the tempo and when utilised in games where this isn’t the case comes across as indolent and feels the verbal wrath of a substantial amount of the club’s support.
There is also some uncertainty regarding Berbatov’s Old Trafford future with the striker yet to be offered a new contract despite only having one year to run on his current deal. United have the option to extend his deal by a further year at any point, so it isn’t a pressing matter in that regard but the more time that passes, the more questions will be asked as to whether the club intend to keep Berbatov.
It’s alleged in some well-informed circles that during the summer Ferguson was offering the 30-year-old to clubs on the continent with Bayern Munich believed to be interested but for whatever reason – possibly Wayne Rooney’s flirtation with Manchester City, no deal was made and Berbatov remained a United player.
Whatever the future holds for Berbatov, he has been a joy to watch for the most part of the season and has shown that even when benched he’s more than willing to contribute to the team when called upon.