Jude Bellingham’s potential price tag was a big talking point before this current economic crisis.
The Mail were among several outlets to link United with paying a £30 million fee for the Birmingham City midfielder.
Bellingham is just 16, and on one hand the fee appears an extravagant amount of money, especially in this climate.
Yet if Bellingham really is the real deal, and the best British teenager since Wayne Rooney, as The Sun describe him, the fee could end up looking like a smart investment.
Firstly, it is the same fee United paid for Rooney back in 2004. He went on to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s seemingly unbeatable Red Devils’ goalscoring record, as well as winning five league titles, the Champions League, the FA Cup, and the League Cup three times.
Then you just have to look at the way transfer fees quickly escalate to realise Bellingham’s value will soar within just one season.
The delay to the European Championships to summer 2021 gives Bellingham a chance to gatecrash the Three Lions squad.
That would not have been possible this summer, but if he has a season under his belt at Old Trafford and makes a quick transition to Premier League football, then it will only be a matter of time before the teenager represents his country.
If Bellingham were to star at Euro 2021 for England after a season at United then his value will more than double, it could treble.
It would be a big jump, but you only have to look at Dele Alli’s 2015/16 to see what is possible.
He went from playing at MK Dons a year earlier, to lining up for England at Euro 2016 after hitting the ground running for Spurs.
No amount of money would have convinced Tottenham to sell him that summer.
Even if Bellingham signs for United and does not get senior international recognition within his first 12 months, his value as a player will still be far higher than the £30 million we appear ready to pay.
Better to be ours
Jadon Sancho’s success in Germany demonstrates Bellingham’s rising value need not be confined to signing for United, sadly for us.
Sancho has gone onto become an England regular and establish himself as European football’s most wanted player, and it will likely take United a club record fee to sign him.
Bellingham could have the same success, and leave United having to wait two or three years before having a second attempt at signing him.
That is why it is so important United close the deal for the youngster now.
It is so much better to buy him for £30 million this summer and see his value soar while contracted to us, than miss out, and have to try and buy him for £90 million from Dortmund in 2022.
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