Written by James Cranford – @jamescranford89
International week is with us. The few Liverpool fans that do watch Gareth’s Brave Boys over the next week or so will be monitoring the fitness of Jordan Henderson – who has replaced Kalvin Phillips in the squad – and keeping a close eye on in-demand midfielder Jude Bellingham.
Sky Germany journalist Florian ‘Plettigoal’ Plettenberg reported this week that he is “…totally convinced he will leave Dortmund in 2023, maybe to Liverpool, maybe to Manchester United.” With the reported fee of £130 million much higher than the Reds’ record transfer spend, are they really in the race for Bellingham?
On the latest episode of our Journo Insight Show, Redmen Club Legend Cole G asked goal.com’s Neil Jones for his thoughts on a potential fee for Bellingham.
“I don’t see Liverpool paying £130 million for anyone. I don’t see anyone paying £130 million for Jude Bellingham because of the position he plays. Jadon Sancho – let’s have it right – did as much for Dortmund as Jude Bellingham has done and what did they get, £70 million was it? It wasn’t over £100 million. I think Dortmund will be asking a lot to get a club to sign a player who is a very, very good system player. You’re not talking about a Neymar or an Mbappe who basically goes and wins you matches. That is the case. We had the top 10 transfers [on last week’s Journo Insight show] and we looked – there weren’t many midfielders on it. Pogba was probably the highest on that list.
The World Cup is a bit of a spanner in the works, isn’t it? Both ways really. If he goes and absolutely runs the show and wins the World Cup and is the star of the show then, yeah, you’re adding on tax. He could go and flop, he could go and get injured, he could go and his form might dip after the World Cup. There are a lot of variables, but Dortmund are always going to sell. They will always sell, so I think it’s just a case of they’ll try and get the best deal, but I expect he’s going to go somewhere next summer. He’s the next one on the rank, isn’t he? From Sancho to Haaland to him. Before that from Götze and Lewandowski, those kind of guys. I’m not sure Liverpool are paying £130 million, but I’m not sure anyone else is either.”
Neil is right to point out that all of the £100+ million transfers in history have been for attacking players. However, Bellingham is still only 19, so could conceivably spend another 15 years at the top level. Atlético Madrid paid an astronomical fee for João Félix only a few years ago, with the player’s age being a big factor in that fee. Dortmund may be keen on pushing Bellingham’s valuation up beyond what it would have been, given that the fee they received for Erling Haaland was limited by his release clause and was probably less than market value.
Liverpool managed to sell themselves and their project to Virgil van Dijk, who chose to join them when Manchester City could have matched the then world record fee for a defender. They will have to do the same thing if they want to land Bellingham. Does he want to be the lynchpin around which our midfield is built for ten years?
Or end up just another talented midfielder to travel along the Pep Guardiola conveyor belt? He would likely win more trophies at City, so Jürgen and his team will have to pull out all the stops to convince him to sign.