According to a recent report from The Mirror, Manchester United want to sign Birmingham City’s 16-year-old prodigy Jude Bellingham.
The same source states that the Red Devils are even willing to fork out around £12.5m, which is simply an eye-watering sum for a kid of his age.
But who exactly is this young, up and coming player and why would Ole Gunnar Solskjaer want to add him to his current crop of players?
Let’s find out…
Bellingham is a product of Birmingham City’s academy. Some of his first steps as a footballer were made when he was just eight years old, playing for the Blues and rising through their ranks quickly and effortlessly.
Fast forward into the future, and the now 16-year-old prodigy is already making strides in his career, having been named EFL Young Player of the Month award for November 2019.
The big fat United quiz of 2019 – how much do you remember about the last year at Man Utd?
He also became the club’s youngster ever goalscorer at just 16 years and 38 days, breaking the record set by club legend Trevor Francis in 1970.
By the looks of things, he could definitely be someone Man United could mould into a superstar.
Bellingham is a highly technical and explosive type of player. Even though he is a natural centre-midfielder, we can actually see him in various different positions depending on the needs of the team, as evidenced by the games Transfermarkt have in their database.
But even though he could be characterised as an aggressive and attacking-minded player, he is also able to drop deeper when necessary and assist the build-up of his team.
We can actually see that tendency in his heatmap for the 2019/20 season across all competitions, as provided by Wyscout.
Bellingham is extremely composed and mature for his age, and represents a rather safe option for his teammates in possession. He is also most dangerous when actually on the ball and when given the licence to wreak havoc in the opposition’s lines. The technical side of this 16-year-old midfielder is best seen in his dribbling stats as Wyscout register 4.18 per game with 58.9% success rate.
His control is also really good as he has only averaged only 1.2 unsuccessful first touches per game in the Championship this season.
Prior to the Birmingham’s weekend clash with Cardiff, the 16-year-old has tallied 23 games for his club in the ongoing campaign in the domestic league, starting an impressive 17 out of those games and scoring three goals while adding one assist to that tally as well, proving that he has an eye for goal and a lethal strike.
One other notable trait that describes this youngster quite well is his maturity in defence. He partakes in 9.33 defensive duels per game with a success rate of 62.6%. He also averaged an incredible 4.52 interceptions and 6.47 recoveries per game, with 56.6% happening in the opposition’s half, proving his aggressive nature and hefty defensive contribution.
If he is truly to be incorporated into Solskjaer’s squad, Bellingham would be another young talent defending the colours of the Red Devils.
With the likes of Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood already at the club, Man United’s future certainly looks extremely bright and the coach’s intentions are crystal clear – a young revolution and rejuvenation of the team.
Bellingham is only 16 years of age but his potential is already out there for everyone to see.
For that reason, the reported interest from United and other big European clubs doesn’t come as a surprise.