Bryan Robson says he thought Manchester United would sign 'fantastic' Jude Bellingham
BBC Sport reported how Bellingham took a tour of Carrington in 2020, when the midfielder was looking to leave Birmingham City.
It was not enough to win the young midfielder over, with Bellingham feeling that a move to Dortmund was better for his career development.
Robson explained how he was convinced United would win the race to sign the midfielder at the time.
“We thought we had landed him”
Robson said: “I watched him closely playing against City and you could see how much he’s progressed since we thought we had landed him at Manchester United a couple of years ago.”
Not many players get as far as having a pre-move sales pitch at Carrington before signing, let alone rejecting the move. So you can see why Robson and the club felt confident of a switch.
Bellingham has shown since that he is a really special talent, and his decision to delay a switch to the Premier League has been a smart choice.
He is a regular for Dortmund and is set to be part of the England squad for the World Cup. The Mail report Bellingham is valued at £100 million.
Robson added: “He has fantastic anticipation — as we saw in the way he darted into the box to put away his header. But he wins plenty of battles as well.
“A lot of people think he’s more or less an attacking midfielder but he can do the other side of it as well. He’s a good size. He’s pretty quick and in fact he’s got a bit of everything about him.”
United face an important season ahead to get back in contention to sign Bellingham when he is expected to become available in 2023.
If he had been put up for sale this past summer, United would not have been in the running. Now with fresh direction under Erik ten Hag, United are beginning to look like an attractive destination for the midfielder once again.
A top four finish could be crucial, but there is plenty of work to be done between now and May to try and win Bellingham over and try to succeed where the club failed in 2020.