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Craig Bellamy Joining Cardiff City a Big Mistake?

LLANELLI, WALES - AUGUST 11:  Craig Bellamy of Wales looks on during the International Friendly between Wales and Luxembourg at Parc y Scarlets on August 11, 2010 in Llanelli, Wales.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Andy GrayContributor IIAugust 17, 2010

Mercurial bad boy Craig Bellamy has today completed a shock loan move to home town club Cardiff City.

Cast out by Manchester City, has the Welshman made a heroic return to his boyhood club or is he simply giving up the ghost on his career?

The 31-year-old has had his fair share of clubs in a career that has seen £47 million spent on him in little over 14 years. None of his moves though have been quite as surprising as this one.

Bellamy joined money bags Manchester City in January 2009 following a £14 million from West Ham.

He hit the ground running, scoring in his debut against former club Newcastle United, making him the only player to score top flight goals for six different sides.

He then went on to have one of the most impressive seasons of his career, remaining in exceptional form for City during the 2009-10 season, leading them to the brink of Champions League qualification.

Despite his impressive form, Bellamy always seemed in the bad books at City and you always had the feeling that he was not a favourite with manager Roberto Mancini.

This stemmed from reports of unrest after the sacking of Mark Hughes with a revolt apparently led by Bellamy and Carlos Tevez.

Things got worse this Summer when Mancini, funded by Sheikh Mansour, brought in Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan and told Bellamy that he would not be named in the 25-man squad for the season.

As a result, Bellamy can be forgiven for wanting out but was joining Cardiff the right move?

Coming off the back of a fantastic season and still only 31, it would seem that Cardiff City is a major step down.

No disrespect to the Welsh club, which is one of the top Championship sides and was 90 minutes away from promotion last season.

But Bellamy has more to give and could easily have earned a move elsewhere in the Premiership.

Harry Redknapp for one was a big admirer of the forward and had recently spoken of his desire to bring him to Tottenham Hotspur to bolster his attacking options.

It can be argued that by moving to Cardiff he will guarantee a starting berth, which he will, but it is a great shame to see a great talent with so much more to give being wasted in the second tier of English football.

Time will tell whether he has made the right choice, but all signs point to GIANT ERROR.

He could have gotten himself a gig playing Champions League football with Tottenham tonight. Instead, he will be heading to Doncaster on Saturday to make his Cardiff City bow.

Cardiff manager Dave Jones has said he is delighted and Bellamy seems happy, but you have to wonder whether such a big fish in a small pond will cause unrest, especially a personality as volatile as this one.

If you ask me, he has brought an excellent career to a premature end and may never get the chance to play at the top again.

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