Rio Ferdinand has lavished Jude Bellingham with praise, suggesting that the teenager belongs to an endangered grouping of midfielders who contribute both defensively and offensively.
The Borussia Dortmund star is said to be attracting interest from Liverpool amongst a host of other top European heavyweights following a remarkable couple of seasons spent in the German top-flight.
“In the England youth teams there are times when he’s played as the holding midfielder. Times he’s played as the 8 and been box-to-box,” the former Manchester United defender told the FIVE YouTube channel (via the Express).
“And also times when he’s been told he can join the attacks more. He has the capabilities and capacity to play all of the roles, he’s that good.
“I think for him, I see him as being someone who can do it all. There aren’t many midfielders in the game now that can attack and defend – affect the game at both ends.
“When you are one of the super clubs, there are talents out there that make you think if we have the capacity and financial muscle, then he’s one you don’t want to miss.”
The Reds had initially been expected to replace outgoing midfielder Gini Wijnaldum in the prior summer window following the Dutchman’s exit on a free, though a move for the young Englishman (valued at £63m by Transfermarkt) would have been highly unlikely in light of the club’s financial struggles in the wake of the global pandemic.
In light of our ageing midfield, there’s certainly an argument to be made for injecting a quality youth prospect into the side to balance potential with experience.
With Bellingham’s contract in Germany not set to expire until 2025, however, the conditions are hardly ripe for our recruitment team to snatch the former Birmingham City star on a reasonable deal.
Should we be looking to enjoy a somewhat busier window in future, regardless of whether it comes in January or at the end of the season, we can expect Julian Ward and co. to be keeping their eyes out for any young gems in and around the 20-24 age range to help secure the future of our midfield.