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The Daily Bee: Preparing for the Post-Bellingham Era

It may not be a “done deal” just yet, but all signs point to Bellingham heading for the door. What does a Bellinghamless BVB look like?

VfL Bochum 1848 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Since joining the club at just 17 years old in 2020, Jude Bellingham has become a fixture in the Borussia Dortmund midfield, going from an astonishingly talented but still raw kid to one of the best midfielders on the planet. He has grown into arguably BVB’s most important player, and while he has dropped off a little in the second half of the season, Bellingham is certainly in the running for Dortmund’s Player of the Season (for the record, I’d probably have him second at the moment). He now wears the armband regularly for BVB, as the third-choice behind Marco Reus and Mats Hummels, and has become a dependable leader in the middle of the park (though his high standards have led to some criticism about his attitude on the pitch).

When Jude joined BVB there was already a lot of hype about his potential. He had been talked about as a special talent from quite a young age in England. I remember being about as high on him as anyone when he signed for the Black and Yellows. But he surpassed every ludicrous expectation I had. He walked into the Dortmund starting eleven straight away, picked up his first England cap before even celebrating his first Christmas in Germany, and with each new season at the club, he seems to take another huge step. This season he is Dortmund’s top goalscorer in all competitions, with 11 goals, and is joint second for assists, with 6 (though to be fair Guerreiro is miles out in front with 13). He just keeps getting better.

Sadly, however, we always knew Jude’s time at the club would be relatively short. We knew this was never supposed to be his final destination. Initially the assumption was that he’d eventually leave to return to England, but more than that, the reality is that Bellingham will soon be one of the best players on the planet, and BVB were always going to have a hard time keeping hold of him.

Although there’s still plenty of details to iron out, like the fact that there is possibly as much as a €30m gap between Real Madrid’s valuation and Borussia Dortmund’s asking price, it does seem likely that Jude’s time at the club is coming to an end.

Whether the fee ends up closer to €120m or €150m, Borussia Dortmund are still going to have a lot of money to spend on his replacement, and they should have plenty left over to address several other positions of need too. There’s lots to like about this move for BVB, as long as they invest that money wisely.

Despite that, it’s still a shame to see Bellingham leave. He’s a fantastic player and he seems like a good guy too. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Bellingham play for BVB, as I’m sure all of us have. I’m not really one for forming particularly strong bonds with players (though I’ll admit I do have a soft spot for that sweet, sensitive South Londoner, Jadon Sancho), but I know that a lot of fans felt a connection with Bellingham’s blood and guts approach to football and his obvious passion for the club. That will be difficult to replace, but that will be Sebastien Kehl’s task this summer. I look forward to seeing what a post-Bellingham BVB looks like.

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Who are the player’s that you’ve formed a strongest “connection” with? I’m not talking your favourite players ever (of which mine are Zinedine Zidane, Steven Gerrard, and footballer turned conspiracy theorist, Matt Le Tissier), but the players you really cared about. At Southampton, mine were Morgan Schneiderlin and Sadio Mane, and at BVB it was Jadon Sancho (although Zagadou gets a special mention too).