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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 9, 2006

Bellion: Joining West Ham was a mistake

David Bellion has completed his loan move to Nice after admitting his switch to West Ham had proven to be a mistake.

Bellion, owned by Manchester United, was allowed by the Red Devils to end his Upton Park spell early and return to his native France to see the season out with the Ligue 1 side.

For the 23-year-old it means a return to the Cote d'Azur, having started his career in the Cannes academy, which also produced Patrick Vieira, Zinedine Zidane and Johan Micoud.

'I know the region and the town, and my family and friends live here,' said Bellion.

'To return to France was a real wish of mine and Nice was my preference. I'm happy to have signed here, I think I've made a good decision.

'The style of play in the French championship, and that of Nice, is based on playing on the ground and seems to fit my style of play.'

Bellion joined the Hammers following their promotion to the Barclays Premiership, and was due to spend the full season with Alan Pardew's side.

But the competition for places meant he had few opportunities, with Marlon Harewood, Teddy Sheringham and Bobby Zamora preferred to the loanee.

He scored four Premiership goals in 24 matches over two seasons for United as well as two Champions League goals in seven appearances, but played just seven matches for West Ham.

When it was put to Bellion last summer that he should try his luck with the Hammers, however, the striker - brought to Old Trafford from Sunderland in 2003 - was willing to give it a go.

'Firstly, I spoke with the Manchester United manager who thought it would be better to have me `within sight' at West Ham. When Sir Alex Ferguson advises you to do something, it's hard not to listen,' he said.

'In retrospect, I think it was an error even though it was an interesting experience.

'But it's bad news which has brought about good news. That said, I would have done better to choose Nice since there was contact in August.'

He added on Nice's website: 'The Hammers were back in the Premier League, they had good results early on with the players who took them up, and I arrived there injured, and so it was hard to win a place.

'I left Manchester United to play at West Ham and since that didn't happen it was necessary to leave.

'But I was not in conflict with anybody and the manager made perfectly reasonable decisions, but for the sake of my career I had to move.

'In Manchester it was difficult to achieve my ambitions, even though I believe in my qualities.

'I want to prove myself and I arrive with plenty of motivation.'

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