Liverpool’s interest in Jude Bellingham is nothing new. James Pearce in The Athletic can state that the Reds tried to sign the midfielder already when he was eleven years old. The coveted 19-year-old then completed his degrees in Birmingham and showed himself to be a very great talent early on.
Liverpool invited Bellingham and parents Denise and Mark to a two-day visit to the academy. There, the boy must have impressed Liverpool’s apparatus, both sportingly and as a person.
The Reds were so impressed that they wanted to bring the eleven-year-old to the club and ensure that he would get the education and follow-up he needed alongside football. While today there is talk of Dortmund demanding £130 million for their jewel, the price at the time would have been £9,000 in compensation.
The parents said no
Liverpool’s proposal involved the entire Bellingham family moving north and him attending Rainhill High School. Then perhaps they could also get little brother Jobe, also a great talent, into their ranks.
But the parents agreed that they did not want to move, and they chose to stay in Birmingham. Nor did they allow themselves to be enticed by Manchester City or Chelsea.
Bellingham continued his fine development at Birmingham and made his first-team debut just 38 days after turning 16. In 2020, the trip went to Dortmund, where he has delivered the goods and at the same time established himself in the English national team.
That Liverpool are still interested in the youngster is a poorly kept secret, and although there was no journey through the academy at Kirkby, there are some links to the Merseyside club. Bellingham has stated that Steven Gerrard was his great hero as a youngster, and in the national team he has forged strong ties and been impressed by Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.
Bellingham is considered to be the perfect inside runner in Jürgen Klopp’s system, with technical abilities to contribute offensively combined with good work capacity defensively. Where he ends up when we write the summer of 2023 will be exciting to see.