We ‘signed’ Jude Bellingham for Man United next season with winning results

Manchester United have been linked with a sensational move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham next summer, with United looking to bolster their midfield for the 2022/23 season.

The central-midfield position remains a priority to improve for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side with questions being asked of United’s title challenge with their current options in the position, and Bellingham could be the perfect player for United after a monumental season with Dortmund and the England national team.

Dortmund paid an initial £25 million up-front to sign Bellingham from Birmingham City in 2020, with Solskjaer’s side also being in the running at the time, with the 18-year-old and his family even being given a tour of United’s Carrington training base before his move to Germany.

Bellingham has been a great coup for Dortmund, with the playmaker quickly evolving into one of Europe’s best midfielders as proven due to his great start to this season’s Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League campaigns.

So what could happen if Bellingham was to make the move to Manchester next summer?

To find out, we simulated the 2022/23 season with Bellingham in the United squad to see if he could help bring a trophy to Old Trafford next season.

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2021 editor to arrange for Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham to join Solskjaer’s side ahead of the 2022/23 campain.

Man United’s simulated 2022/23 season with Bellingham

Let’s take a look at Bellingham’s in-game stats as of July 2022 in Football Manager 2021 and how he fitted into Solskjaer’s side in our simulated season.

Bellingham's in-game profile in FM21
Bellingham’s in-game profile in FM21

For an 18-year-old, Bellingham’s in-game profile boasts an extremely strong profile, with his stats representing his current ability in real life.

Bellingham was thrown straight into the United starting XI on his arrival, and the midfielder racked up 51 appearances in all competitions, registering nine goals and eight assists whilst averaging a rating of 7.22 per game, one of the highest in the United squad.

Bellingham's stats from the 2021/22 season
Bellingham’s stats from the 2021/22 season

From the defensive midfield role, Bellingham was influential in the Premier League for Solskjaer’s side as he averaged 7.21 per game in the league.

At the end of the 2022/23 season, Football Manager 2021 put together an overall best United’s 11, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.

This is what United’s best XI looked like at the end of the 2022/23 season as predicted by Football Manager 2021.

Man United's best XI with Bellingham in the squad in FM21
Man United’s best XI with Bellingham in the squad in FM21

Full Man United best 11: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Telles; Bellingham, Pogba; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo.

Bellingham partnered Pogba in the holding midfielder roles, and despite the duo not being the most defensive players, they certainly improved the United squad with some impressive performances from deep.

So how did Solskjaer’s side perform in all competitions in our simulated season with Bellingham in the squad?

Here is how the final 2022/23 league table looked once the simulation finished at the end of May 2023.

Man United won the Premier League in the simulation
Man United won the Premier League in the simulation

The addition of Bellingham in the United squad seemed to be the last piece of Solskjaer’s puzzle after this summer’s successful transfer window, with United tallying 87 points over the course of the season and winning the Premier League, beating rivals Man City only on goal difference.

United only suffered three losses over the course of the simulated season, and impressively, when compared to their 2020/21 season, United gained an extra 13 points – 87 points would’ve won them the league in the 20/21 campaign

So, how did United perform in the cups?

United's cup results with Bellingham in the squad
United’s cup results with Bellingham in the squad

The addition of Bellingham to United’s 2022/23 simulation saw two trophies arrive at Old Trafford, with goals from Jadon Sancho and Edison Cavani giving United a 2-1 win in the Carabao Cup final.

United also reached the FA Cup final, but Liverpool emerged as 2-0 winners, whilst a 3-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the second leg saw Solskjaer’s side lose 4-3 on aggregate in the Champions League Quarter-Finals.

Football Manager 2021 predicts that Bellingham would have a great first season in the simulation, and his addition to the United side would help Solskjaer’s side win the Premier League and Carabao Cup, overall predicting an extremely positive impact if the 18-year-old was to join ahead of next season.

Would you be happy to see Man United sign Jude Bellingham next summer? Let us know in the comments below.

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