A former Old Trafford favourite thinks the Red Devils have enough firepower already after watching them put Tottenham to the sword in midweek
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t need to sign an extra striker in January, according to Dimitar Berbatov, who felt Manchester United took a “big step in the right direction” during their 2-1 win over Tottenham.
The Red Devils were billed as underdogs when a Tottenham side fresh from three successive wins arrived at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
Eleven months after being sacked by United, Jose Mourinho returned to his old stomping ground, but was unable to extend his 100 per cent record at the start of his tenure with Spurs as United ran out 2-1 winners.
Despite the win, Solskjaer’s men are still eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea after 15 fixtures, having struggled to deliver the goods in the final third consistently this term.
The Norwegian has been tipped to add to his attacking ranks in the January transfer window, but Berbatov feels such a move could “discourage” his current crop, who showed significant signs of improvement against Spurs.
“Manchester United outplayed Tottenham at Old Trafford by moving the ball quickly, being aggressive and generally playing with the kind of purpose that United fans expect to see,” the former United and Tottenham striker wrote in his latest column for Betfair.
“The movement of Jesse Lingard, Mason Greenwood and especially Marcus Rashford was excellent and the team’s performance was a big step in the right direction.
“Rashford scored his first goal from a difficult angle and, even though Paulo Gazzaniga should have saved his shot, it gave the United striker the belief that this was his night.
“That’s why he was shooting from long-range and playing with great confidence. He confused Tottenham’s defenders with his skills, they were rattled by his pace and power, which is why Moussa Sissoko conceded the penalty in the second half.
“If United’s attacking players can perform as well as they did against Tottenham, and Anthony Martial plays to his potential when he returns from injury, then there’s no need for Ole to sign a striker in January. Bringing in a new forward at this point could even discourage the players that United already have.
“I know there’s speculation about Erling Braut Haaland coming to Old Trafford. He’s a big centre-forward, an old fashioned target man who scores tap-ins, so he would offer United something different, but they need to think carefully about how he would fit into their style of play.”
Berbatov is confident his old club can spring a surprise and beat their neighbours in their own backyard, potentially putting an end to their chances of securing a third successive title in the process.
“United do well against the Premier League’s stronger teams – thumping Chelsea on the opening day, beating Leicester, drawing with Liverpool and now defeating Spurs,” Berbatov said.
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“Bigger teams’ style of play suits United and some players find it easier to motivate themselves against big opponents than they do against so-called smaller clubs.
“City aren’t as strong as they have been in recent seasons and, as Norwich, Wolves and Liverpool have shown, they can be beaten.
“United can surprise City and take all three points. That would end City’s title hopes, which would be great, except that it would hand the title to Liverpool, which is even worse. But if United win on Saturday, they won’t be thinking about that.”