Red hot Tevez looks set to make Ferguson eat his words

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The Independent Football

The words of Sir Alex Ferguson last summer are coming back to haunt him. Six months ago the Manchester United manager told reporters during the club's pre-season trip to Malaysia that former United striker Carlos Tevez was not worth the £25m that Manchester City paid for him.

Ferguson said: "I don't think he was worth £25m. He was popular with the supporters. The fans quite rightly have their heroes and I was happy to go along with the deal as long as it was the right one but, quite simply, he is not worth £25m."

Right now, Tevez looks every inch a £25m player, particularly when you consider that Ferguson spent £30.75m a year earlier on Dimitar Berbatov, a player whose arrival at Old Trafford effectively squeezed Tevez out of the picture and led to his controversial departure last summer.

A hat-trick from Tevez in Monday night's 4-1 win over Blackburn, on the day he received the award for being December's Premier League player of the month, moved Manchester City up to fourth place, just three points behind the champions if the Blues win their game in hand.

Comparisons between Tevez and Berbatov show the City man is the one providing value for money. The Argentina international has scored 15 goals, with 11 in his last nine appearances, compared with Berbatov's modest return of six from 23 matches.

Tevez's City team-mate Nigel De Jong is one who believes Ferguson will be made to eat his words. The Dutchman said: "It is up to the player to show his worth. Some people have a different view on Carlos Tevez but if they look at him now, they will change their mind. I'm just glad he's playing for us now.

"There are a lot of great players but at this moment he is maybe the best striker in the Premier League."