Jude Bellingham

Having become the most expensive 17-year-old in history in moving to Borussia Dortmund last summer, Jude Bellingham continues to turn heads and defy his tender years.

The midfielder impressed in England’s 5-0 win against San Marino to open their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Birmingham academy product was thrown into the action at half-time as a replacement for Mason Mount and wasted little time in imposing himself in the centre of the park.

Bellingham’s maturity quickly came to the fore as his delicate touches and confident runs helped the hosts stay in control, and would have become the youngest-ever scorer for the Three Lions had an acrobatic effort been on target.

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Roy Keane uncharacteristically waxed lyrical of the teenager in the aftermath: ‘Bellingham looks like a complete midfielder. He’s still a kid playing regularly in Germany. 

‘He’ll be disappointed with missing the chance, but at 17 he has nice composure, happy to break forward, very good night’s work’. Declared the ex-Man United captain.

‘He will be disappointed with the chance, he tries to complicate it when he should just side-foot it.’

Arsenal legend, Ian Wright also joined in the praise for the Dortmund number 22.

Wright noted: ‘Some players want to move it quickly and he has a nice calmness to him, and we’re going to need it.’

While former England Women international, Eniola Aluko added: ‘You wouldn’t think he’s 17. He’s very articulate, he’s only a kid, he shows a level of comfort playing for Dortmund week in week out rather than playing on the bench for a big club.’

The latest International wunderkid?

Jude Bellingham

The teenager would look to build on his two international caps having registered impressive showings in his 35 appearances yielding one goal and four assists for Dortmund this season. 

Bellingham became Dortmund’s youngest-ever goalscorer and his stock continues to rise beyond the shores of Germany and England.

His calm showings might well secure a spot in England’s Euro 2020 squad.

Bellingham has already broken a number of age records so far in his short career and will do so should he play at this summer’s tournament. Where Gareth Southgate is hoping he will have been fast-tracked into the squad.

“He’s a player we think is going to be an England international in the future,” Southgate told ITV.

“We feel that in that area of the pitch, although we were very happy with everybody tonight, we are a little bit short in numbers.

“For us to help develop him, to put him into games and to try and get him with the team, with the development he is getting at Dortmund as well, we’re hoping we can play a part in fast-tracking him into the group.”

The youngster will be looking to add to his international experience against Albania as he sets sights on a memorable summer. For Southgate, he will be another ace in a large pack of talented players

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
March 26, 2021
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.


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