On the night after Paul Pogba was hooked after a dismal midfield showing, the influential Jude Bellingham was trying to drag his team to victory despite being down to ten men.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recalled the Frenchman for the clash in Bergamo despite him serving an ongoing domestic suspension.
But the World Cup winner didn’t repay the faith shown in him by his manager.
It was the type of performance that makes you wonder whether it’s worth offering him a new deal or whether it’s just worth putting an end to his contract saga and selling him in January.
Pogba is a different player for France that’s abundantly clear, but there is a passion and desire to represent his country every time he puts on the Les Bleus jersey.
You don’t get that same feeling from him when he’s playing for Manchester United, it almost feels like it’s an inconvenience for him, playing for the biggest club in the world.
United cannot afford to miss out on Bellingham again
United tried to pull out all the stops to bring the former Birmingham City starlet to Old Trafford in 2020, but even the charm of Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t convince Bellingham to pick the Red Devils over Borussia Dortmund.
Bellingham had seen the wonders going to Germany had done for Jadon Sancho’s career.
And his rise to footballing stardom is following a similar trajectory of his England team mate.
United need to be at the front of the queue when Bellingham gives the green light on embarking on a new challenge.
It’s probable that with his minimum fee release clause, it’ll be Erling Haaland that follows in Sancho’s footsteps, and is the star man to leave Signal Iduna Park next summer.
Dortmund will not likely cash in on two of their prized assets in the same summer, so Bellingham’s big move will probably have to wait until 2023.
By that time he’ll be 20-years-old and he’d have completed three full seasons in Germany.
What would Bellingham bring to United’s midfield?
Quite simply the X-factor. With Pogba probably seeking a new challenge, Nemanja Matic’s legs continuing to age and Donny van de Beek struggling for game time, the midfield area will have to become United’s priority to resolve.
In Fred and Scott McTominay, Solskjaer has two industrious and hard-working midfielders, who put in a big shift for the team.
But this current United team is missing that midfield spark to knit the team together.
Bellingham has already matched his number of goal involvements (9) from last season in just 17 games so far this season. He has three goals and six assists to his name, averaging a goal contribution in every other game.
Last season, the England international scored four goals and made five assists from 46 games across all competitions.
In last night’s clash against Ajax and with his team down to ten men after 30 minutes, it was Bellingham who won the penalty which Marco Reus scored, to put his team ahead despite being a man light.
The 18-year-old finished the game with the most tackles (4) and completed dribbles (4) in the match (WhoScored).
He also had the most touches (53) in the Dortmund side and created the most chances (3).
We are talking about an exceptional talent who already takes the game by the scruff of the neck and has an incredible amount of self belief.
He is a dream of a box-to-box midfielder and would be an asset in this Manchester United side, both in and out of possession.
Unlike Pogba, who can be a defensive liability, Bellingham has a tremendous work rate and would significantly improve United’s ability to press teams.
If and when Bellingham is ready to seek a big money move, United simply have to be at the front of the queue because he is the type of player that could galvanise this team.
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