Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov Exclusive: Man Utd injury crisis gives Mason Mount chance to shine

Betfair ambassador Dimitar Berbatov
Berba knows what it takes to succeed at Man Utd and wants Mason Mount to step up

The Premier League is back this weekend and so is Dimitar Berbatov who says Mason Mount must use Manchester United's injury crisis as an opportunity to show his quality...

  • Ten Hag must produce results under pressure

  • Injury list means Utd need Mount to show quality

  • Martial must wake up or face Old Trafford exit


Man Utd injury list is a worry

United's injury list - oh my God, it's a long list, with players who normally play important roles ruled out for weeks and, in some cases, months. We don't know how long some of them will be injured for and that can put more stress on the situation.

United have shown signs of improvement in recent games at the same time as showing that there are still things that need to be fixed if they are to have a successful season. But that success will be difficult to achieve with this long injury list. Let's hope nobody else is added to the injury list. I'm worried.

Andre Onana, Lisandro Martinez, Jonny Evans, Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, Rasmus Hojlund - these are key players Man United are missing, so of course, Erik ten Hag will be worried.

The players will talk to each other, the injured players will be trying their best to be back as soon as possible. But, on the other hand, their absence gives opportunities to other players, who are not playing regularly, to show what they can do. This is the moment they can step up.

Sometimes in football you deserve to play but the manager doesn't select you for tactical reason. Sometimes, a few injuries can be a good thing for other players to step up and say: "Gaffer, look at me, I'm here, I'll do what the other players can do."

I can't help but feel sympathy for Ten Hag. He is under pressure to produce results and yet this injury list is making that more difficult. At the same time, though, he needs to take it as a challenge.

Ten Hag needs to show how good he is as a manager because he's managing one of the biggest teams in the world. He needs to know how to steer the team in the right direction and get the points.

Mason Mount needs to produce more

We all know Mason Mount needs to step up because he hasn't played well since joining United. I want to see him give more for the team, produce more, because in some of the games, it looks like he doesn't know how to fit into United's system. He looks a bit lost but we all know the quality he possesses.

He was bought for big money which brings big expectations. He knows he needs to step up and show his quality. United need him to help the team.

Varane and Marital must prove their worth

Scott McTominay is using the opportunities given to him to be the hero when the team needs him. He's giving everything for the team and filling the hole left by injured midfielders.

Now United need somebody to do the same thing up front. Who is going to take Hojlund's place up front? Marcus Rashford? We know he doesn't like it there. Anthony Martial? I don't think he likes it there either. Alejandro Garnacho? He plays on the wing. So now there is a dilemma - who is going to play as the centre-forward?

I really hope Martial has a future at United. I'm a bit biased because I used to play with him at Monaco, and I saw the quality he has. Everyone knows that he's not working the way he should be. He's not using his quality properly and he's struggling because of this.

He needs to be shaken up a little bit and there are moments where he needs to push hard and change his game.

I saw in the last couple of games, he did that, he pressed, he was angry in his body language and going hard towards the opposition. He needs to do something extra.

When you've been at a club for a long time, you get complacent. From time to time, you need to challenge yourself and the people around you need to wake you up and say: "Look, you have so many qualities that you're not using correctly. Wake up, do more and bring it to the team."

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With Jonny Evans injured, Raphael Varane will get the chance to regain his place in the starting line-up. I can understand Varane's anger when Evans was picked ahead of him because when you're Varane, you've won everything, you are younger than Evans, you came to United to play and now all of a sudden, a 35-year-old player is taking your place.

Now is his chance to show that he deserves to play. Not that he needs to prove anything because he's won so much, but just to fit back into the team.

Casemiro faces challenge to get back in team

Casemiro is learning that football can be strange sometimes. He did well in his first season at United, brought his form from Real Madrid, but in his second season he has started to struggle.

Now, the Brazilian is going to try to work his way back into the team from injury. He is going to have competition for his place when he's fit, so the situation is tricky. That's how football works sometimes.

Casemiro needs to work hard to come back into the team because he can still give a lot more to United.

United brought in Sofyan Amrabat on loan in the summer and he needs to step up as well.

Signing Griezmann in January would be risky

If United buy someone in the January transfer market, I'm curious to see who that's going to be.

Antoinne Griezmann has been linked in January, but if he comes, then what happens if Hojlund and Griezmann are fit? Griezmann needs to play because he's Griezmann, so is Hojlund not going to play then?

If Hojlund doesn't play, then why did United buy him? It would become a mess. I don't think that transfer will happen.

United must build on recent wins

Everyone will hope for a top four finish at Man United this season. They have won 12 points from their last five Premier League matches. That is good form to have coming back from the international break. But that shouldn't give them comfort. Instead, it needs to give them ambition to do even better.

Let's not get carried away by a couple of wins because, as we've witnessed before, United are capable of having good games and then there comes another two or three when you don't recognise how the team plays and they lose points.

United need to take this season game-by-game, especially with that injury list.


Read more from Dimitar Berbatov and get his score predictions for every Premier League fixture.

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