Manchester City remain very much in the chase for the Premier League title, with Pep Guardiola’s men sitting second in the table, just five points behind Arsenal with more than half of the season left to go.
It’s hard to fathom just how further Guardiola can strengthen his squad when it contains a plethora of riches that should be sweeping all in front of them. Still, the Spaniard knows how to pick a player which can fit his model, and Jude Bellingham could be an intriguing signing for City.
Last month, 90min claimed that the club were interested in Bellingham following his impressive World Cup campaign with England and now a recent update from Sky Germany states that City are willing to meet Borussia Dortmund’s asking price of €150m (£131m) to lure the midfielder to England.
By doing so, Guardiola could have the perfect heir to İlkay Gündoğan ready to slot straight into the starting XI.
The German midfielder has played an integral part in Guardiola’s City juggernaut since joining from Dortmund in 2016, winning nine major honours with the club, including four league titles.
He has scored 51 goals in 277 appearances for City, made even more remarkable considering he has operated in either a central or defensive midfield role during his stint in England, although with his contract expiring at the end of the current campaign, a replacement will need to be found sooner rather than later.
There is no disputing Bellingham is one of Europe’s finest midfielders, and at just 19 years of age, there is massive scope for further development.
Compared to positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues, the Englishman ranks in the top 10% for non-penalty goals, dribbles completed, touches in the attacking penalty area, and progressive passes recovery, clearly indicating that he would be an excellent signing and someone the 51-year-old could build his team around.
The Dortmund sensation has been wonderful in the Bundesliga this term, averaging a Sofascore rating of 7.38/10 from just 15 appearances, registering five goal contributions, and taking 2.1 shots per game, suggesting that he, like Gündoğan, possesses an attacking threat from the centre of the pitch.
Bellingham isn’t shy in assisting his team with defensive duties either, averaging 3.2 tackles, 1.1 clearances, and 1.4 interceptions per match, while winning a staggering 9.7 duels per game – a success rate of 62%.
Sky Sports reporter Adam Smithy described him as an “unreal talent” last year and if City wants to land the coveted Champions League trophy they have craved for so long, Bellingham could be the final piece of the puzzle.