Liverpool have long been credited with an interest in Jude Bellingham alongside Manchester City and Real Madrid. But how realistic are Liverpool’s chances when it comes to signing the 19-year-old England international?
Reports suggest that Bellingham’s family favour a move to Anfield and are focussed on making the move happen next summer.
Despite a transfer fee in the region of £100 million being talked up, there is a genuine chance that Liverpool could land the generational talent above Premier League rivals Manchester City and Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Here are three reasons why Liverpool fans can be optimistic:
#1 Standing out as a star player
Liverpool have been having midfield issues all season long and have been crying out for a player of real quality in the middle of the park.
Not only that, but the midfield is starting to age badly – Henderson is 32, Thiago is 31, Milner is about to turn 37 and Fabinho will turn 30 in October.
This represents a real headache for Jurgen Klopp as the German looks to create a stable midfield unit for years to come.
The landscape at Manchester City and Real Madrid however could not be more different. Manchester City have an embarassment of riches in their midfield, including Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri and Kalvin Phillips.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid have experienced professionals in Luka Modric and Toni Kroos who are aging as well, but are bolstered by rising starts in Aurélien Tchouaméni, Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde.
It is fair to say that Bellingham would neither stand out nor revolutionise either of their midfields. At Liverpool however, he would stand out as a star on the world stage and be a key figure in helping turn Liverpool’s fortunes around.
As Jurgen Klopp once said about Philippe Coutinho:
“I told him stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honour. Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player. Here you can be something more.”
In the case of Countinho, Klopp could not have been more right.
#2 Friendships with current Liverpool players
One thing that became clear during England’s World Cup campaign is how close Jude Bellingham was with Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.
There were plenty of pictures released of the trio together during training, but it was their friendship off the field that caught the eye. In fact, Alexander-Arnold posted a picture with Bellingham on his Instagram account as they took a “Stroll in the city” one evening in Qatar.
Of course this is not to say that the Birmingham City academy product will choose Liverpool because he is friends with some members of the squad. However, this will certainly be an important factor for the young Englishman as he considers how he might settle at each club.
Happiness off the field is just as important as happiness on it, and having friends like Alexander-Arnold and Henderson will go a long way in convincing Bellingham that his long-term future lies at Anfield.
#3 Following in Steven Gerrard’s footsteps
Bellingham has made no secret of his admiration for former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
The youngster has mentioned many times before that Gerrard was his idol growing up and has even based parts of his game around that of the former Aston Villa manager’s game.
So, at just 19-years-old, Bellingham has the ideal opportunity to emulate the former Liverpool captain and become a legend from Liverpool’s midfield. With Naby Keita’s contract expiring next summer, the number 8 shirt that Gerrard famously wore for so many years will likely be available soon.
The opportunity to take the shirt number and position of his childhood idol at Anfield represents a very intriguing and tempting prospect for Borussia Dortmund’s midfield talisman and may prove to be too much to resist.
To read more news, click here.