‘Fernandes can make Man Utd title challengers’ – Berbatov sees Red Devils closing gap to Liverpool and City
Bruno Fernandes can help to make Manchester United title challengers in 2020-21, claims Dimitar Berbatov, with the Red Devils needing to “improve again” in a bid to close in on Liverpool and Manchester City.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer guided his side to a third-place Premier League finish in 2019-20, with an impressive run of form since the turn of the year – which was not disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic – seeing Champions League qualification secured.
The challenge now is to build on those foundations, with a side accustomed to challenging for major honours looking to rein in a couple of local rivals who have pulled well clear of the chasing pack.
Berbatov believes United are capable of doing that, with a few minor tweaks required in the transfer market in order for those at Old Trafford to become serious contenders for the domestic crown once more.
The former Red Devils striker told Betfair: “By default, my opinion is United should be challenging for the title, even when going through difficult periods.
“It's been a challenging few years, but the fact remains that United need to be challenging for the title. They need to improve again to challenge Man City and Liverpool next season, but they can do it.
“Every season is different and has its unique ups and downs, the teams you expect don't always end up doing well, but with United you always expect them to be title contenders, especially if they make some signings.”
United have found plenty of value in recent windows, bringing in the likes of Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes, with the addition of a Portuguese playmaker in January considered to have raised the collective standard in Manchester.
Berbatov added: “The signing of Bruno Fernandes lifted the team massively. The team's spirit changed when he came in, he has blended in really well, connecting the back four and the attack.
“To step up and show that responsibility is huge, he's been an amazing signing for them. He's important to United, but important to the players around him also.
“He's been a very pleasant surprise, because usually one player doesn't make such a difference. United need to maintain this level of consistency.”