Arsenal have been tipped to make a move for Jude Bellingham in the summer of 2023.
That’s according to ex-Chelsea defender Scott Minto, who stated his belief in recent comments cited by The Sun that, despite the interest of Manchester City and Real Madrid, should Arsenal go on to secure Champions League football this season, there is no reason why Mikel Arteta’s side would not be genuine contenders for the Borussia Dortmund midfielder’s signing.
Regarding the interest in the 19-year-old, Minto said: “I’m not sure what his contract looks like, but there’s no doubt he’ll be playing in the Premier League, absolutely no doubt; he’s good enough to play a key role for the very best teams in the world.
“The very best team for me is Manchester City, but actually, the way Arsenal are playing at the moment, if they can finish in the top four, or better still, in second place, or even go on to win the title, then all of a sudden they become as attractive a proposition as City, just like that.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happening if Arsenal are in the Champions League next season. When you look at what that team is all about under Mikel Arteta, and there’d be a need for them to strengthen if they’re playing on Europe’s biggest stage, why couldn’t they go and get a Bellingham?
“At the start of the season I had Arsenal finishing in fifth place, or around that area; I didn’t think they’d make the top four. But I’m constantly re-evaluating things as each hurdle has been passed. And I can tell you now, I genuinely think that if they finish in the top four, suddenly they become one of the most attractive teams in the world to join.
“If this is a team which is already fighting City for the title, after just a year of Arteta turning things around, that’s a team which ticks every box.”
Considering just how impressive Bellingham has been for both club and country in recent years, in addition to the fact that central midfield is undoubtedly the area of Arsenal’s squad that Arteta lacks the most depth, the argument that Edu simply must sanction a move for the teenager next summer is an incredibly easy one to make.
Indeed, over his 15 Bundesliga appearances so far this season, the £216m-rated talent has been in breathtaking form, scoring three goals, registering two goals and creating four big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.1 shots, making 1.1 key passes and completing 2.0 dribbles per game.
The £27k-per-week midfielder has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, completing 42.8 passes – at a success rate of 83% – as well as making an average of 3.2 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 1.1 clearances and winning 9.7 duels – at a success rate of 63% – per game.
These returns have seen the player who Adam Smithy dubbed “unreal” and Dan Bardell claimed adds a “different dimension” average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.38, not only ranking him as Edin Terzić’s best performer in the league but also as the joint seventh-best player in the German top flight as a whole.
Indeed, Bellingham enjoyed 113 touches of the ball, completed 92 of his 96 attempted passes, was successful with two dribbles, made three tackles, won seven of his nine duels and scored the Three Lion’s opener with an exceptional header.
These metrics saw the player who Josh Bunting dubbed both “sensational” and “scary” earn a SofaScore match rating of 8.2, ranking him as Gareth Southgate’s second-best performer in England’s World Cup opener.
As such, with Bellingham very much appearing to be a five-tool talent, it would indeed appear an extremely wise move for Edu to launch an Arsenal bid for the teenager, as the Dortmund starlet would undoubtedly help to add a different dimension to Arteta’s midfield at The Emirates.