Manchester United’s pursuit of Jude Bellingham appears to be over, with BBC Sport reporting he is close to completing a mode to Dortmund.
It is disappointing to miss out on a potentially top young talent, who could end up costing a far higher fee in the future.
United had pushed for this one, even bringing the young midfielder in for a tour of Carrington back in March.
He has instead chosen to try his luck in Germany with Dortmund, with The Mail reporting it will cost them £21 million.
Here are three things we have learned from this lengthy transfer saga…
Talent identification success
United may have missed out on Jude Bellingham and Erling Haaland, but the club’s scouts are doing their jobs properly.
The club is identifying elite young talent, perhaps not quite early enough, but we are ahead of our English rivals in doing so.
While this is very little comfort if we miss out on the players, this will not happen every time.
If United continue on the same path in terms of recruitment, and just get even more determined with it, there will be a lot more top young players heading to Old Trafford.
The club should not be discouraged. We are taking the right steps to identify and try and sign top young players. As shown with Hannibal Mejbri, United is still an attractive destination for young talent, even if priorities are changing.
It is important to note that United’s work with Bellingham now could pay off in the future. If he is auctioned off by Dortmund in a few years, Bellingham may feel more affinity to United than other English clubs, given this early pursuit of him.
Game time most important to new generation
This new generation of players clearly place game time as more important than simply being attached to a big club. That’s understandable.
Jadon Sancho is seen as a trailblazer in this respect, and for English players, he is, but it was actually Paul Pogba who led the way.
He bravely walked out on Sir Alex Ferguson’s United amid promises of regular game time at Juventus. There he developed into a star.
United’s team now have strong options all over the pitch, and Bellingham considered he would get closer to 30 games at Dortmund, and perhaps just 10 at Old Trafford next season.
Angel Gomes and Largie Ramazani are two United talents who last week quit the club with the same goals.
It is a balancing act for United. We need to win games, and you can’t please everybody while aiming for a ‘better tomorrow’ and the need for a instant improvement.
Increase resolve to secure other top targets
United’s recruitment team will be stung by this disappointment. This should only increase the resolve to get further deals done this summer.
We could yet secure a bigger win over Dortmund by taking top asset Jadon Sancho away from them.
It is so important for United now to get this deal over the line. If we can, then disappointment over Bellingham will quickly fade.
Fail to sign Sancho, and even worse, let him go to a rival, and then there will be major questions asked at Old Trafford by media pundits and supporters. United can’t afford to let this happen.
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