Date: 16th February 2011 at 11:46am
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A young French forward with blistering pace, David Bellion showed plenty of promise in his late teenage years at his first Premier League club Sunderland.

He made his debut for the Black Cats early in the 2001/02 season but scored his solitary league goal against Aston Villa in September 2002.

Bellion moved to Manchester United in the summer of 2003, but in controversial circumstances. United were alleged of ‘tapping up’ Bellion, and his agent was accused of wrongdoing. It was stated that his agent had offered him to Arsenal illegally and that United had been paying his phone bills whilst still at Sunderland in a bid to win his favour.

His move to United came at the end of his contract, but due to the fact he was under the age of 23, it entitled Sunderland to compensation,a fee of £2m which could potentially rise to £3m depending on appearances. Whilst the fee sounded high it was the price United allegedly paid in order for Sunderland to not launch a case of tapping up against United.

It wasn’t worth the bother!

Bellion managed only a handful of games for United and despite goals against Leeds and Arsenal his career failed to take off at United and he was often played as a winger. In his second season he found some decent form in the reserves before he was eventually shipped out to West Ham and then Nice on loan.

After a more promising spell in his homeland he moved to Nice permanently in 2006. But after a season he headed west to Bordeaux where he was part of a squad that won Ligue 1 in 2008/09.

There he played in a squad with current Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh and French ace Yoann Gourcuff.

Twenty-eight-year-old Bellion is still contracted to Bordeaux, but moved back to Nice for a third time in a six-month loan deal in December.

Adapted from a piece from Clean Sheets All Round


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