As per TEAMtalk, the Hammers have been named as one of a significant number of clubs who are ‘taking an interest’ in the 16-year-old starlet, with teams both at home and abroad vying to snap up the younger brother of Borussia Dortmund and England gem, Jude.
While the older member of the Bellingham clan has also been linked with a high profile switch following his impressive displays for the Bundesliga outfit over the past two seasons – having made the move from St Andrew’s in July 2020 – the report suggests that the future of the 18-year-old is not tied to that of his younger brother.
As the report explains, it is their parents’ wish for the duo to be treated as individuals rather than as a pair, with Jobe – who has been linked with both Sunderland and Liverpool of late – seemingly set to carve out his own path.
Although not necessarily an addition to the club’s youth set-up, the arrival of the midfield “wonderkid” – as he has been dubbed by TEAMtalk – would represent another coup for a club that has been famed for its development of young, prodigious talent over the last few decades.
Dubbed the ‘Academy of Football‘ for their ability to produce the very best emerging talent, it would seem that there is no better home for young Bellingham than that of the London Stadium, with the precocious gem likely to benefit immensely from the Hammers’ faith and trust in youth.
While it may appear unlikely for the Blues ace to be thrust straight into the first-team with the east London outfit – having made only two Championship appearances to date – the club does have precedent for throwing young stars in at the deep end.
One such figure that burst onto the scene at the tender age of just 17 was Joe Cole, the Englishman making his senior debut against Swansea City back in 1999, having been earmarked as the next biggest thing years earlier while part of the academy system.
Despite the weight of expectation on his shoulders, the playmaking genius soared at senior level, dazzling the Upton Park crowd over the coming years, eventually being named captain at just 21 after developing into something of a talisman for the club.
Although he would eventually join Chelsea in 2003 after the Irons suffered a shock relegation, he remains a notable success story for the club, as well as proving the old cliche that if you are good enough, you are old enough.
It remains to be seen just quite how good a talent Bellingham is – with expectations having sky-rocketed due to his brother’s form – although on the early evidence West Ham could have a real player on their hands if they are able to do a deal, with the player’s current boss Lee Bowyer having lavished him with praise following his senior debut earlier this year.
Amid the thought of an exciting, young, English midfield star in a Hammers shirt, it can only generate hopes that the club have finally found their next Cole.