Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham is believed to be on Liverpool’s transfer shortlist after impressing in the Bundesliga and the Champions League.
Liverpool’s need for a new central midfielder is no secret.
Jordan Henderson, 32, and Thiago Alcantara, 31, are both at the back end of their glittering careers, while James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain are all out of contract next June. As Jurgen Klopp said in August, “We are looking for it – and if it is the right player, we need him, and if it is not the right player, we don’t need him.”
The Reds did bring in a new midfielder on deadline day in Arthur Melo, but his loan transfer suggests he’s a temporary solution. So who is Liverpool’s next great midfielder? Everyone associated with the club would love that answer to be Jude Bellingham.
The England international, 19, is already viewed as one of the best midfielders in Europe and recently played his 100th game for Borussia Dortmund. He’s impressed in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League, winning the DFB-Pokal in May 2021.
Bellingham’s latest achievement came on Monday night when he was named as the Player of the Match in England’s 3-3 draw against Germany at Wembley. It was further evidence of his ability to play at the highest level, with the World Cup just two months away.
Bellingham is believed to be valued at more than £100million. Liverpool will be able to afford the teenager’s transfer fee next summer – if he decides to leave Dortmund – but could miss out on him, as other top European clubs are said to be monitoring his progress.
Manchester City, Manchester United and European champions Real Madrid are also reportedly interested in Bellingham, while it’s hard to ignore the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Barcelona. Liverpool have competition for his signature.
In fact, it’s claimed Bellingham is Real’s first-choice target. According to Marca, the La Liga side see him as the perfect successor for Luka Modric, who recently celebrated his 37th birthday. The Spanish newspaper also stated Klopp’s interest in the Englishman.
As such, Liverpool must do all they can to persuade Bellingham to choose a move to Merseyside. One way they can do this is by using the international breaks wisely and urging their England players to have a quiet word with the emerging talent.
Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were both part of the England squad for this month’s internationals against Italy and Germany and, while neither of them are guaranteed of their place, they will hoping to be part of the World Cup squad.
Bellingham, meanwhile, will certainly be on the plane. If selected, Henderson and Alexander-Arnold must sell the Merseyside dream to the teenager. The Reds duo have won everything in the game under Klopp and that may do the trick.
There will also be two other international breaks after the World Cup in March and June before the summer window opens. The race for Bellingham’s signature will be competitive, but he is surely the “right” player for the Liverpool. Klopp must cross the line first.