David Bellion is a name many English football fans will remember well as the now retired striker spent five years in England with Sunderland, Manchester United and West Ham United.
He spent three seasons with the Red Devils, before leaving the Old Trafford club for OGC Nice in 2006.
Having struggled in his first two seasons at United, their then manager, Sir Alex Ferguson sent the Frenchman out on loan to West Ham.
Alan Pardew was managing the Hammers and he wanted to play Bellion alongside Jérémie Aliadière at West Ham. He moved to the English capital despite nursing an injury at that time.
Having recovered from it, the now 38-year-old scored his first goal for on his debut for West Ham and went on to make 10 appearances for the London club, mostly as a substitute.
Foot Mercato have published a long interview with Bellion, where he discussed the injury he suffered at United after the Premier League giants had already decided to send him out on loan.
“It was a funny story for me because throughout my youth I felt invincible, I was strong. In my head, when I saw players suffering from fractures or ruptures of the cruciate ligaments, I never imagined injuring myself,” Bellion said.
“When this happened, for a week, I was traumatized. Sir Alex Ferguson called me at the end of the game to tell me it would be fine, but a week before he had told me the club would loan me out.”
“He thought it would be good so I didn’t even bother to argue, I also thought it was a good idea. Even though I was leaving my club, I was happy and thought I was going to have a great season.”
“So, I go to West Ham with Alan Pardew who was counting on me to form a partnership with Jérémie Aliadière.”
Detailing what went wrong for him at West Ham Bellion puts the blame on Pardew.
“I got there injured, so I was recovering. I scored in my first Cup match on my comeback and then we play Liverpool in the league,” he explained.
“And suddenly, when I had not been bad despite the defeat, Alan Pardew decides not to play me with Jérémie Aliadière anymore.”
“I went to see him for explanations because we were good at training with Jérémie Aliadière, and he told me something that marked me: ‘Between a player on loan and a player under contract with me, I would always favor the one under contract’. I contacted my agent to let him know about the situation and so in December I returned to France.”
“It was a very complicated year for me in 2005, both sporting wise and personally. It was a very short experience at West Ham, yet I was happy to go and play energetically and carefree. I even liked the city, I liked the English capital.”