If you compile a list of the best young players in football, Jude Bellingham is sure to rank at the top or near about. The English midfielder has been touted as a generational star and has been the star for Borussia Dortmund. Bellingham also reached a milestone by making his 100th appearance for Dortmund against Schalke 04 in the famous Ruhr derby.
Bellingham’s immense talent means it is a question of when, not if, he moves away from Dortmund. However, the German club have made sure that only a record fee will make them part with their player. The fee is quoted to be around €150 million. It would make the Jude Bellingham transfer the third-costliest transfer in football behind Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
It will be a sweet return on an investment of €25 million that they paid Birmingham City in 2019. But, unfortunately for Dortmund, his transfer will follow the typical Dortmund model of buying them young, developing them, and then selling them for an enormous sum of money.
So, which clubs will be the protagonists of the Jude Bellingham transfer saga? We take a look at the ideal landing spots.
For over a year now, Liverpool have been said to be the frontrunners in the Jude Bellingham transfer saga. The Reds are looking to bolster their midfield with young, talented signings. This is because many of their top players are approaching 30 or have crossed it. Furthermore, Liverpool have struggled since the start of the 2022-23 season. Inconsistency in the Premier League has seen their expected title challenge already falter. Furthermore, a humiliating 4-1 loss to Napoli with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia running rings around their defence was another wake-up call regarding the age profile of this squad.
Bellingham fits the profile perfectly. He has played at Borussia Dortmund in a tactical system similar to Liverpool’s Gegenpressing. As a result, Bellingham is adept at covering lots of ground, initiating intensive press in high areas, and creating chances and passing. In addition, the teenager has ample experience playing in a three-person midfield like Liverpool. He is also excellent at retaining possession.
However, the major stumbling block will be the huge transfer fee. While Bellingham is talented, the €150 million fee is enormous for a 19-year-old. This is why Liverpool are also keeping tabs on alternatives such as Flamengo’s Joao Gomes.
James Pearce on Jude Bellingham:
“When you speak to people at Liverpool, the caveat is: will the numbers get too big?” [The Athletic Football Podcast] pic.twitter.com/Q5x32Sl2Ty
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) September 22, 2022
Manchester United look to have got their season back on track, winning four consecutive games in the Premier League. Erik Ten Hag’s men look like a changed side, with new players such as Lisandro Martinez (signed from Ajax), Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia (signed from PSV) playing a pivotal role. However, the team still needs signings, especially in midfield. Jude Bellingham is a perfect player in such a scenario. In their two losses at the beginning of the season, United were overrun in midfield.
Bellingham’s signing would elevate the midfield’s quality and make them a top force in England. Manchester United are going through a rebuilding phase under Ten Hag. And players like Bellingham are what they lack. For example, in the loss against Brentford, United ran 12.8 kilometres less than Brentford, showing the lack of hard-working players. A player like Bellingham solves the issue.
In addition, Bellingham is also a creative genius. Last season, he provided eight assists in the league, more than any current United midfielder. A trio of Casemiro, Bellingham and Bruno Fernandes is a midfield pairing that could bring the Premier League back to Old Trafford.
Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski, Matt Hummels. Over the years, Bayern have raided their nearest rival for their best player. Hummels and Lewandowski proved to be highly successful, bringing Bayern multiple trophies. So, why not repeat the trick? Unfortunately, Bayern have been playing a two-pivot midfield which has put them on the back foot in specific matches.
While Marcel Sabitzer has been an able partner for Joshua Kimmich, he has failed to perform in big matches. A midfield trio of Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Bellingham would surely be one of the best in Germany and Europe. Since Bayern are in the same league. The teenager will also have an easier time fitting in in Bavaria.
Borussia Dortmund value midfielder Jude Bellingham, a transfer target of Manchester United and Liverpool, at around £130m. (The Athletic) pic.twitter.com/YM1uIFk5tf
— Transfer News Central (@TransferNewsCen) September 22, 2022
At Bayern Munich, the Englishman will also be guaranteed multiple trophies. Bayern Munich have also won the Champions League twice in the last decade, with only Real Madrid winning more in that time. While his transfer fee may be a stumbling block, in recent years, Bayern have splurged cash to bring players such as Leroy Sane, Lucas Hernandez, and the most recent signing of Matthijs de Ligt.
Real Madrid have dominated the Champions League in recent years. Los Blancos have won five Champions League titles in eight years. And at the centre of it was the Casemiro-Modric-Kroos midfield trio pulling the strings. But, unfortunately, Casemiro has now gone to Manchester United, and while the amazing Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are still going strong, age is starting to catch up with them.
Real Madrid have already started to plan for the future. They brought Eduardo Camavinga in 2021 before signing Aurelien Tchouameni a year later. What they are now missing is a player of Bellingham’s calibre. Signing the Englishmen could provide them with a world-class midfield for years, much like in the case of Modric, Kroos and Casemiro.
Real Madrid missed out on Kylian Mbappe, who decided to renew his contract with Paris Saint Germain. Now they have enormous money to improve their squad in multiple positions. With Barcelona considerably strengthening themselves in the recent transfer window, Madrid will be keen not to be left behind.
There has been no other club that has witnessed the amount of chaos as Chelsea have. First, long-time owner Roman Abrahimovich was forced to sell the club due to the Ukraine war. Then the clubs spent an enormous amount of money to bring players such as Wesley Fofana (signed from Leicester), Marc Cucurella (signed from Brighton), Kalidou Koulibaly (signed from Napoli), and Raheem Sterling (signed from Manchester City).
However, their start of the season has been far from perfect. This led to the sacking of manager Thomas Tuchel. And among all this, Chelsea’s midfield has remained a problem with the lack of quality signings. The English midfielder in such circumstances is a perfect option for incoming manager Graham Potter.
Bellingham will bring much-needed pace, creativity and youthfulness to the middle of the park. However, whether new club owner Todd Boehly will sanction such a massive deal after spending close to € 250 million remains to be seen.