Wed. Sep 30th, 2020

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Dimitar Berbatov hails ‘exciting’ Donny van de Beek deal – but urges Manchester United to sign central defender

3 min read
Dimitar Berbatov looks on at an event for Manchester United
Manchester United hero Dimitar Berbatov hopes the club strengthen at centre-half this summer (Picture: Getty)

Dimitar Berbatov is excited about Donny van de Beek’s arrival at Old Trafford this summer – but has urged Manchester United to now concentrate their efforts on signing a central defender ahead of the new season.

Van de Beek was unveiled as Solskjaer’s first signing of the summer transfer window on Wednesday after the Red Devils reached a £40 million agreement with Ajax for the 23-year-old midfielder.

The Dutchman’s arrival means United have an embarrassment of riches in the middle of the park, with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred already battling for places in Solskjaer’s squad.

Donny van de Beek poses in Manchester United after his transfer from Ajax
Van de Beek completed a £40m move from Ajax to Manchester United

And Berbatov believes that level of competition can only be positive for United heading into the 2020/21 campaign.

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‘It’s getting crowded in the midfield department but that’s a good thing because competition is always healthy,’ the ex-United striker told Stadium Astro.

‘They will get the best out of each other.

‘There is going to be Pogba, him and Bruno Fernandes – that is exciting.

‘The team is getting compact in a really nice way. Maybe they will surprise us with one or two more signings.’

Dayot Upamecano looks on France's clash with Sweden
Dayot Upamecano is reportedly United’s top target at centre-back (Picture: Getty)

Solskjaer is keen to bring in a centre-back with pace to make up for Harry Maguire’s lack of mobility at the heart of United’s defence and Berbatov feels they ‘need to strengthen’ in this area.

‘I think in defence, a centre-back is something that they need to look for,’ the Bulgarian added.

‘If they are going to buy someone or not we are going to see, but I think that is where they need to strengthen. Everything else at the moment looks balanced.

‘For me they need someone who can accommodate Harry Maguire. Harry is more of a guy for getting the ball out of the defence and giving it to the midfield, so maybe someone who is different to that but also strong.

‘They need to copy the Rio [Ferdinand] and [Nemanja] Vidic partnership from the past.’

On United’s current attacking options, Berbatov said: ‘I’ve said it many times, for me [Anthony] Martial, Marcus Rashford, [Mason] Greenwood have great potential to become even better – especially Greenwood.

‘I think with the season he had for United, with the goals and the way he was moving on the pitch, I think he deserves this season to be given more playing time because he deserved it.

‘He scored goals every time Ole gave him a chance and I think he will be given more time to shine. And with Martial and Rashford in there, proven scorers in world football, I think they can develop and become better.’

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