Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham She is one of the names on everyone’s lips when thinking about who is the best young player in world football. (He placed fourth on ESPN’s 39 Under-21 list as of April.)
Still only 19 years old, Bellingham has made his mark in the Bundesliga over the past two years since his €30m move from Birmingham City in 2020. Now, Dortmund values his services at more than €120m, but without a release clause in his contract (unlike Erling Haaland(who moved to Manchester City for €60m from Dortmund this summer), the sky is the limit for Bellingham.
Some of Europe’s top clubs are scouting for the England international, so what do they need most? And what fits his playing style?
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Liverpool are crying out for a midfielder with Bellingham’s technical and physical qualities. As coach Jurgen Klopp prepares the club for its next phase of development, the entire midfield could be ready for renewal over the next few transfer windows. Due to injuries or the opposite condition, Klopp had to mess around in midfield without seemingly finding the right combinations.
Injuries are not only prevented Naby Keita And the Alex Oxlade Chamberlain From getting consistent performance on the team, but the next 21-year-old generation Curtis Jones and 19 years old Harvey Elliott They are not yet convinced that their long-term future is at the heart of the midfield. Then there is the question of how long the veterans James Milner (36) and Jordan Henderson (32) He can continue to adapt to the intensity and dynamism required to play 40 to 50 games per season. The only sure thing is that Fabinho (28) It will save the anchor.
With all the mystery surrounding Liverpool’s current midfield, Bellingham’s sporty style (he rarely misses a match) and versatility would be perfect for Klopp, potentially taking over the play-making roles of another injury-prone midfielder: Thiago Alcantara. But one question remains: How eager is Bellingham to join a team that’s still in the works? He will be an essential part of any team he joins, but at Anfield he could end up rotating rather than engaging in a more stable role.
Manchester City’s midfield may seem fluid and efficient, but there are still some reasons why Bellingham is interested in Manchester City’s blue side. While the midfield role is well covered by Rodri And the Calvin PhillipsGuardiola’s penchant for making room for roaming, swapping positions and creativity among his more advanced attacking midfielders would suit Bellingham well. Indeed, the former Birmingham star’s versatility – which includes his past adventures as a wide-field midfielder and tenth place – Pep Guardiola will likely rub his hands in anticipation.
In addition, the long-term future Bernardo Silva – With the interest reported by both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain – he may become a good topic in the summer again, while Ilkay GundoganHis current contract is set to expire in 2023. For a club that likes to plan ahead – knowing that midfielders of the quality, age and resilience of Bellingham are rare – one would expect City to be around. top developments.
With 19 years already building a good understanding with Phil Foden On the English side, and seeing how easily his former Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland can be settled in the Etihad, he will not lack voices talking about a move to the Etihad if City decide to pursue their interest.
In a team that generally lacks dynamism and agile midfield runners, Bellingham will offer coach Eric ten Hag a range of options at Old Trafford. With United absent to sign Barcelona Frenkie de Jong In the summer, Bellingham will offer some of the same features and possibly more.
While De Jong is arguably the most strategic midfielder in the duo, Bellingham also likes to catch the ball from depth and improve his passing range. However, it is the latter’s ability to link defense and attack with his dribbles and pressure-resistant ball holders that could make him the missing link at Old Trafford. It would also add a penetrating threat that the Manchester United midfield currently lacks.
United have two players who can perform similar tasks – Fred and Donnie Van de Beek – But both have not yet had the expected impact, so a potential signing of Bellingham could be one of the club’s most important signings over the past decade.
Despite a plethora of options in midfield, reports still suggest that La Liga and the European champions are interested in Bellingham. It is also proven by their spending huge sums to attract world-class talents such as Eduardo Camavinga (31 million euros) and Aurelien Chuamini (80 million euros), the Spanish giants are always present whenever there is an opportunity to secure the best young players around. The temptation to add another Bellingham player may be within their technical requirements and financial means, assuming they don’t play again to land the PSG striker. Kylian Mbappe.
with Luka ModricAnd the Toni KroosAnd the Federico ValverdeWith Camavinga and Tchouameni all vying for places, it was widely discussed how Real Madrid could fit all of their stars into a well-functioning midfield ahead of the €70m move from Casemiro to Manchester United, freeing up some space.
So it’s not hard to imagine Bellingham finding a natural place in the Bernabeu midfield in a year’s time. Modric (37) and Kroos (32) contracts expire after that, but the Englishman could theoretically replace them, making him a huge draw. Two such high-profile departures would make Valverde (24) the most experienced of Carlo Ancelotti in midfield, but the sheer quality and compatibility of the prospective quartet will still make Real Madrid a candidate to repeat their domestic and European glory.
Craig Burley discusses how Graham Potter will deal with Chelsea’s top players.
Chelsea certainly have the money to fight for Bellingham’s signature, but their interest may depend on how they do it Carne Chokwimica It develops throughout this season. With a skill set not too far from Bellingham – among his many similarities, offering top-tier ball, excellent dribbling skills in crowded areas and the ability to make huge impact in the transition – Chukwuemeka may make spending big in midfield redundant after his 15 move. £1m from Aston Villa this summer. Although he hasn’t made his debut for the club, he may not be far off.
However, while Chelsea have no shortage of numbers in midfield, the team still lacked one specific player who could break lines and add creativity in the final third. As much as Bellingham and new boss Graham Potter seem to be a compatible match – his intense game of pressure will be especially appreciated – Chelsea may find it hard to persuade the 19-year-old to join them given the other options on the table.
Staying in Dortmund?
Of course, there is always the option to stay in Dortmund. Bellingham knows the team and suits the style well, scoring 13 goals and 18 assists from 100 games so far.
The midfielder’s contract doesn’t expire until 2025, so the ball will be in Dortmund’s court for the next year or so, but the Bundesliga side will be keen to extend it – perhaps with a major clause included in the chemistry. 150 million euros or so.
Bellingham is still only 19 years old, so he will have plenty of time to think about where his long-term future lies.