“The most mature 17-year-old I’ve ever met” – Former Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Explains Why Manchester United Failed To Land Real Madrid Ace Jude Bellingham

Real Madrid Ace Jude Bellingham Has Been One Of The Leaders In Non-Penalty Goals Scored
Real Madrid Ace Jude Bellingham Has Been One Of The Leaders In Non-Penalty Goals Scored

Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he tried to sign Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City in 2020. However, despite his and his associates’ best efforts, the Englishman refused to compromise on his playing time demands and moved to Borussia Dortmund.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Reveals Manchester United Tried Their Best To Sell Their Project To Jude Bellingham

Having recorded four goals and two assists in 41 Championship games for Birmingham City, then-17-year-old Bellingham announced himself as one of the hottest prospects on the market. Like many top clubs, Manchester United also threw their hat in the ring and showed the player around their training facilities.

Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, Solskjaer, who was managing Manchester United at the time, said how he, Sir Alex Ferguson, Bryan Robson, and Eric Cantona all tried to sway the midfielder. He said (via Football365):

He knew what he wanted. Jude, he was in the building. You can’t ask a lot more for a midfielder.

I was there obviously as the manager, Sir Alex was there. Roy should have been there but you weren’t, Bryan Robson was there and Cantona was there that day when he came to the club.”

Solskjaer added:

We all spoke to him. Of course, we sold it to him as well as we could but he knew what he wanted.

X amount of minutes in the first team. That’s it. The most mature 17-year-old I’ve ever met in my life.”

Borussia Dortmund Groomed Bellingham For His Real Madrid Journey

The decision to snub Manchester United turned out to be an excellent one, as Bellingham’s stint at Borussia Dortmund paved the road for his switch to Real Madrid. At Dortmund, the Englishman explored multiple midfield positions, learning to play both higher and lower down the pitch. He learned the craft of making a difference in the final third, both by scoring goals and creating chances.

During his three-season stay at Dortmund, Bellingham played 132 games, scoring 24 times and providing 25 assists. Now at Real Madrid, he has established himself as one of the best players in the world. He has featured in 30 matches for the club in all competitions, netting 20 times and providing eight assists.

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