Jude Bellingham is only 16-years-old and has barely played half a season for Birmingham, but already reports suggest that £30million bids are on their way for the midfielder.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have all been credited with an interest in the player, a box-to-box midfielder, but is he worth the hype?
Our Totally Football Show panel think he is, but that he’s not yet ready to play for one of those giant sides.
“All the big clubs have been monitoring him for a year now,” said Sam Parkin on this week’s show. “He seems to have a really good temperament to go along with his ability, considering he’s 16 and playing regularly.
“Pep Clotet is still managing him to a degree – he’s chosen to leave him out against Luton recently, and again on Tuesday against…
“I completely expect him to get signed relatively soon, and then probably be loaned back. That’s probably the best thing for his development.”
Adrian Clarke concurs. “For a central midfielder to be playing in the Championship at 16 is just extraordinary. Almost just from a physical capacity point of view. He’s doing brilliantly, but if he does go then he has to be loaned back: there’s no way he should be going to Manchester United, for example, and the potentially getting swallowed up.
“There’s no way he’d get into their first-team now, so maybe he needs another two seasons at least in the Championship. Maybe if a big buys him, then loans him back for a year and a half – that’s what I would stipulate if I was Jude Bellingham’s parents, who I am lead to believe represent him. Which I think is great, but I hope they’re ready for what’s about to come – there is a reason parents don’t represent players. I wish the Bellinghams the best of luck.”
The good news for Bellingham is that his father/agent has the knowledge required to make him a suitable guide, according to Caroline Barker.
“His dad, Mark, used to play for us at Chelmsford: he knows football and he could’ve played a lot higher than he did, so if there’s anyone who would make sure he’s loaned back and looked after, it’s him.”
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