It seems every man and his dog has had some kind of interest in Jude Bellingham so far this season, and Tottenham Hotspur are no exception to the rule.
The 16-year-old made history in August last year, becoming the youngest-ever player in Birmingham City’s history, and has since gone on to be an important member of their side this term. That has led to a number of clubs pursuing him, such as Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and Liverpool.
It looks as though Jose Mourinho will miss out on one of the nation’s most exciting wonderkids.
Here, we take a look at three reasons why that could be something the Lilywhites live to regret…
In recent times, Tottenham have made a real push to bring in up-and-coming players. In the 2019 summer window they signed 19-year-old Ryan Sessegnon, 23-year-old Giovani Lo Celso, then 18-year-old Jack Clarke and then 22-year-old Tanguy Ndombele. Also, 22-year-old Steven Bergwijn and 21-year-old Gedson Fernandes were signed in January.
Add in the fact that older players, such as then-27-year-old Christian Eriksen, then-28-year-old Kieran Trippier and 29-year-old Danny Rose have all moved on either on loan or permanently this season, and it is clear that Spurs are trying to refresh the squad – Bellingham would have fit perfectly into that process.
Spurs have dropped down the Premier League table this season – they are currently only in eighth place – but it is worth remembering that they were in the Champions League final last year, whilst they have qualified for the tournament in each of the last four seasons.
They are amongst the elite, and this signing would have been a statement of intent that they plan on remaining part of that group at the top.
Also, it would have allowed them to get one over on the likes of United and Liverpool – now, though, they will likely have to ponder over what might have been.
Bellingham has pretty much split his time this season between central midfield, the right flank and the left, but there is a consensus that he will end up being a regular in the middle of the park in a number eight role.
Mourinho has history with those kind of players, and one in particular flourished under him.
Frank Lampard had begun to show signs of improvement under Claudio Ranieri, scoring 10 goals and providing seven assists in the Premier League in 2003/04, but it was the following campaign, Mourinho’s first at Chelsea, when he truly started to make his mark.
That term, he scored 19 goals and provided 19 assists in all competitions and finished second behind Ronaldinho in the 2005 Ballon d’Or rankings.
Whilst it is hard to say that Bellingham would match those feats, history does tell us that his potential partnership with the 56-year-old manager could have been a match made in heaven.