January reports indicate that Manchester United will be willing to pay serious money to bring 16-year-old Jude Bellingham to the club.
The Birmingham City midfielder is one of the most highly-rated young talents in English football. The Mirror reported on Saturday that United are prepared to pay £12.5million to sign him in 2020.
Here’s five facts on Bellingham to give you the lowdown on the English prospect…
He has half-a-season of Championship football under his belt
Bellingham doesn’t celebrate his 17th birthday until June 2020 but already has half-a-season of senior football in the Championship under his belt.
He’s played a staggering 23 games in the Championship this season. For someone of his age, that’s a truly incredible statistic. Few players, at whatever level, are playing so regularly at such a young age.
After a mix of substitute appearances and starts until November, Bellingham played his first full 90 minutes home defeat to Fulham on November 9th.
Birmingham City’s youngest ever player, and scorer
When Bellingham made his debut against Portsmouth in August 2019 (in the EFL Cup), he became Birmingham’s youngest ever player. That beat a record set by Trevor Francis in 1970.
Bellingham was just 16 years and 38 days old when he played. A couple of weeks later, he scored a deflected winner against Stoke City in the league to become the club’s youngest ever goalscorer, too.
Bellingham is a boyhood Birmingham City fan and so this season has been something of a dream for him. That could play a part if or when he. has to make a decision about his future.
Birmingham have financial problems
With Manchester United circling, Birmingham City may be forced to sell Bellingham, one of the club’s most valuable assets.
The Blues have been told to sell players by the EFL after breaking profit and sustainability rules. They have also been docked nine points.
Bellingham could still stay until the summer when he’ll be able to sign a professional contract. Players can’t do so until they turn 17, which Bellingham does in June.
A target for Europe’s top clubs
While Manchester United’s interest has been recently reported, Bellingham is also thought to be a target for Europe’s elite clubs. It would be a bold move for a 16-year-old to leave England for another country, but some have done it in recent years.
Sky Sports suggest that Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are all scouting Bellingham. That’s in addition to United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
United want to ‘steal the march’ on their rivals with an early offer for Bellingham, say the Mirror.
England youth international Jude Bellingham earns just £145 per week
As he’s just 16, Jude Bellingham still doesn’t have a professional contract. Because of that, his current contract is worth just £145 per week. At this rate, it would take him almost 50 years to earn what United’s top earners, such as. David de Gea and Paul Pogba, do in a week.
That will change in June when Bellingham turns 17. His Dad was a footballer, too, making his name as a prolific goalscorer in non-league.
Bellingham has captained England at youth levels in recent years and has made a number of appearances for the under-17s. In the Syrenka Cup, he captained the under-17s to a penalty shoot-out victory in the final against Poland. He was also named Player of the Tournament.
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