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Just what is it with Craig Bellamy?

I'm sure that this ilicited many a response already - most of which I imagine are not positive.

Putting 'character issues' aside for one moment (and there have been plenty) which have seen him bounce around from over the past ten years, but what is it that Bellamy has that has made a number of top managers shell out approximately £30 million for him during his career?

Mark Hughes was particularly effusive today following his signing, saying:
"I am delighted to be working with Craig once more.

"He is an outstanding player who provides us with qualities that we are slightly lacking.

"He has blistering pace, has bags of of enthusiasm and has a superb attitude to training. He will be a great addition to the squad."
All of this is no doubt true, given that it is coming from a manager who probably knows him best and there is no doubt that our current style of play will afford him the chance to score plenty of goals, and it is his pace that I imagine Hughes will be most looking to utilise when he gets him in the line-up.

A cursory look at his record suggests he will return a decent goals to game ratio at the very least:

Years Club App (Gls)*
Norwich City
Coventry City
Newcastle United
Celtic (loan)
Blackburn Rovers
West Ham United
Manchester City
84 (32)
34 0(6)
93 (28)
12 0(7)
27 (13)
27 0(7)
24 0(7)
00 0(0)

It is a decent enough record given that he has tended to play on the fringes of a strike partnership with him being most productive under Hughes at Blackburn.

Bellamy himself appears to be happy with the move (although there are echoes of previous statements I have seen from him):

"They (Hughes and his coaching team) know me better than anybody-else in the football game, and they are people I completely trust in.

"They have progressed me massively, and I owe them a lot. The added bonus is that it's Manchester City and the way it is going at the moment with possibly one or two more players coming in over the top of me.

"I'm fortunate that this opportunity has come along, and I am grateful. I feel I am at my peak and I hope over the next few years to perform really well here."

I still find it difficult to see quite how he fits into our formation - something I will follow with interest, as I don't believe he has ever had much success as a lone striker and surely we would benefit far greater from a striker with a real presence to lead the line.

Bellamy does have qualities, his record proves that. However it is his less than stellar qualities - which overshadow certain positives and tend to precursor anything that he does and it will no doubt take a great deal of work (and goals of course) for him to overcome the cloud that follows him around.

More on Bellamy: