Non-Existent Nines: Manchester United's David Bellion Made Even Emile Heskey Look Prolific

Manchester United fans would rather have saved their breath then shouted to the high heavens about the signing of David Bellion
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Manchester United fans would rather have saved their breath then shouted to the high heavens about the signing of David Bellion

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Ah, David Bellion. The 'next Thierry Henry'...or so we were led to believe. But why the comparison? Because he is French and he was fast. Well, so was my Renault 5 back in the day. This is as close as Bellion ever got to Thierry.

Signed from Sunderland in a transfer so covertly planned by Manchester United that Bellion declared himself 'mentally unfit' to play for the Black Cats, Sir Alex Ferguson thought he was getting a future superstar. What we got was 'a Djemba-Djemba', as we like to call such talent full of conjecture. United eventually payed £2 million for the lad, under the agreement that Sunderland would not cry about taping up. We know who got the better deal in the end.

Bellion spent two and a half years at United. In that time he scored a grand total of four goals, making Diego Forlan's goal return seem almost Lionel Messi-like. He was indeed fast. He had won athletics awards as a kid. Frankly he should have stuck to a sport where a round ball was not required. On his debut for the club he actually scored, versus Celtic in pre season. We were thinking 'Hello! The next Andy Cole?'. Sadly we were very, very wrong.

Bellion was never Manchester United class. He ended up featuring in just 24 games as the manager tried to develop his lightning fast talent. Eventually we tried to just give him away. We shipped him off to West Ham United, where he played and didn't score a goal. They then returned him with the receipt and asked for a refund. Then we flew him over over the channel and threw him out over the south of France. The lad landed in Nice, and ended up at Bordeaux. Inexplicably he won the Ligue One title with them, and became a bit of a cult hero, you know, because he had fast feet.

In his epic ten-year career, dear David has scored 36 goals. Or you could call that 3.6 goals a season. Emile Heskey has scored twice as many goals over that same period and that's how bad David Bellion really was.

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