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Mike Phelan Recommended One Player To Manchester United, They Didn't Listen, He's One Of The Best Around

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Mike Phelan Recommended One Player To Manchester United, They Didn't Listen, He's One Of The Best Around

Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan told the club to sign teenage sensation Jude Bellingham before he joined Borussia Dortmund.

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The midfielder first caught United's eye when he was 16-years-old and regularly playing for Championship outfit Birmingham City.

He'd go on to join Dortmund in 2020 but according to The Athletic, Phelan was the man who brought Bellingham to United's attention.

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Phelan is said to have first spotted Bellingham during a game between Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

United knew they'd face competition from some of Europe's top sides and even enlisted the help of legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson, as well as Eric Cantona, are said to have given Bellingham and his father a tour around United's Carrington training facility.

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At the time however, Bellingham was desperate to play first-team football and it's something he couldn't be guaranteed.

Bellingham has since stressed his decision to choose Dortmund was down to their track record of developing younger players.

“Man United have a great squad,” Bellingham explained to The Guardian in 2020.

“And my decision had nothing to do with Man United.

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Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

"I was so focused and so happy with the interest from Dortmund that this became my first choice. It was never: ‘It’s this over this club.’

"For me it was Borussia Dortmund, and that’s it.

“The way they integrate young players into the first-team squad is next level. There is not a club in Europe that does it quite like them."

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Dortmund lived up to that promise of first-team action and Bellingham made 46 appearances in all competitions, winning the DFB-Pokal in the process.

He also broke into the England squad and was part of Gareth Southgate's side that made the Euro 2020 final last summer.


Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy
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This season has seen Bellingham kick on further, with the 18-year-old making 25 appearances so far with four goals and nine assists.

United are still yet to fix their central midfield issues and sit seventh in the Premier League.

Liverpool are often linked with Bellingham and Jurgen Klopp is said to be a big fan of the player.

Jamie Carragher also named Bellingham as the player he'd like to see the Reds sign in the summer.

Dortmund have insisted the teenager is not for sale at any price.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Jude Bellingham, Borussia Dortmund, Transfers

Daniel Marland
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