The Lowdown: Guardiola blown away…
Sky Blues manager Pep Guardiola has already witnessed the teenager’s quality firsthand, having been blown away by him after City’s recent 2-1 victory at home to Dortmund in the Champions League.
While Erling Haaland’s phenomenal winner – which drew comparisons to Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff – grabbed all the headlines, his former team-mate Bellingham also managed to get on the scoresheet. Indeed, the 19-year-old gifted his side a 1-0 lead at the Etihad Stadium before goals from John Stones and Haaland turned the result on its head.
Guardiola was left in awe of Bellingham after the match, calling him ‘exceptional’ and revealing how he was already ‘impressed’ by the English gem nearly two years ago (via Yahoo).
The Latest: Man City eye Bellingham move…
According to reports, City are among multiple clubs who are eyeing a move for the teenage starlet.
Football Insider claim that Guardiola’s side are among the ‘stampede’ of clubs showing a real interest in Bellingham, alongside Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and leading sides from Europe.
The Verdict: Push forward?
Guardiola already has an array of midfield talent at his disposal, but with club captain and faithful servant Ilkay Gundogan’s deal set to expire in 2023, Bellingham could be an amazing replacement.
The Germany international still hasn’t put pen to paper on fresh terms after his 2021/22 final day heroics to help City clinch a sixth Premier League crown, so sporting director Txiki Begiristain may need to start thinking about the long term.
As per WhoScored, Bellingham currently ranks as Dortmund’s best-performing player by average match rating and stands out as a real all-rounder in midfield. So far, he has racked up their highest rate of attempted shots and completed dribbles per 90 in the middle of the park, whilst also managing brilliant defensive numbers.
Indeed, Bellingham shines when it comes to the more robust aspects of the game, ranking in Dortmund’s top three players in terms of tackles and interceptions made per 90.
Taking these numbers into account, it’s hardly surprising that former Watford striker Troy Deeney has already labelled him a ‘superstar‘, and he could be the ideal long-term successor to Gundogan at the Etihad.
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