It was a riveting derby night in the Signal Iduna Park when Dortmund downed Schalke No Fear 1-0 to claim three vital points. Youssoufa Moukoko’s late winner stole the headlines, as did Captain Marco Reus’s ankle injury. But someone else deserves some credit, and he’s Jude Bellingham.
At just nineteen years old, Jude Bellingham made his 100th appearance in Black and Yellow last week. He delivered the commanding performance that fans have come to love. Jude has become one of Dortmund’s most consistent players over the last couple of years so let’s take a brief look at how he got here and where he’s going.
Bellingham’s meteoric rise began in Stourbridge, where he was born. Parent’s Mark and Denise couldn’t keep their first son away from the pitch. No sooner was he out of diapers, Jude was playing for Birmingham City’s under-8 team. By fourteen years old, Jude had graduated to the under-18 team and a year later, made his debut for their under-23 side where he scored the only goal in an away win against Nottingham Forest’s under-23 squad. Before long, Jude was integrated into the first team of Birmingham City and began playing a key role in Birmingham’s English Championship survival. After 44 appearances in the first team, a certain German club came calling.
Bellingham arrived in Dortmund the summer of 2020 for an undisclosed fee, though it was rumored to be in the range of 25 million euros. At just seventeen years old, he was more valuable than Erling Haaland was at the same age. The folks at Birmingham city certainly thought that Bellingham was destined for greatness as they retired Bellingham’s jersey, number 22 to serve as both a reminder of where Jude came from, but also to inspire future players who rise through Birmingham City’s youth academies.
Bellingham made his debut for Dortmund in September of 2020, where he started and scored one in a 5-0 win over third-tier MSV Duisburg in the German Cup. This made Bellingham Dortmund’s youngest pokal scorer, taking that accolade from Gio Reyna by less than seven days. It wasn’t long before Bellingham cemented himself in the Dortmund starting XI as he became the youngest Englishman to start a UEFA Champions League match in October of the same year.
Jude Bellingham has become known to Dortmund fans for his strong midfield prowess and unwavering consistency. It hasn’t mattered if he was managed by Lucien Favre, Marco Rose or Edin Terzic, Bellingham shows up week in and week out and his passion is plain to see when he points at his jersey’s BVB insignia and celebrates Dortmund goals. He’s always giving it his all and advocating for his teammates on matchday. Perhaps that’s why he’s been named third in line for the Captain’s armband this season… Or perhaps this is just an incentive for Jude to stay in Dortmund.
Captain Marco Reus and veteran Mats Hummels are both 33 years of age; their experience plays a major role in their captaining of Dortmund, but both players are aging and injury-prone. Dortmund needs a strong captain who identifies with the club, someone who can be the face of Dortmund’s future. Learning how to lead from the likes of Marco and Mats can be invaluable in Bellingham’s ability to manage his teammates on the pitch. It’s no secret that Jude will have Premier League suitors next summer, but could he extend his contract with Dortmund? That certainly seems to be the goal. I think Sebastian Kehl is much less keen on selling the likes of Bellingham than his predecessor was when it came to Jadon Sancho.
And this kid is just Nineteen! I could be a bit naïve, but I know Sebastian Kehl is building something and Jude Bellingham is very much a part of that plan.
Elsewhere, Jude represented England in their Nations League Matches against Italy and Germany, both of which he started. Unless this boy-wonder gets injured, he’ll surely be a part of England’s World Cups squad.
What are your thoughts? Tell us below.
- Will Bellingham sign an extension with Dortmund?
- Whats your prediction for England vs USA in the World Cup?
- Will Jude succumb to a big-money Premier League move?