Former Birmingham City manager backs Jude Bellingham to shine at Borussia Dortmund

Jude Bellingham (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Jude Bellingham (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

Former Birmingham City manager Pep Clotet believes that Jude Bellingham has all the tools to become the most complete player in the game.

Borussia Dortmund completed the signing of highly rated midfielder Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City yesterday, making him the most expensive 17 year old in history. The midfielder joins the Black and Yellows on the back of an impressive breakthrough campaign in the second division of English football.

And the man who gave Bellingham his first team debut at Birmingham City has said that he is capable of “touching the sky”. Clotet left Birmingham City earlier this month, but he played a crucial role in helping Bellingham transition into the first team. In an interview with the Athletic, Clotet said:

"“Jude is one of those players who when he plays, is teaching you things. In my view, he has to fight to become the most complete player in the game. He has everything in his hands to do it. He can touch the sky as a player — he has no roof.”"

Bellingham has made a total of 43 appearances for Birmingham City this season, ahead of his final game for his boyhood club on Wednesday. He will begin training with Borussia Dortmund just eight days after the end of the season in the United Kingdom, forgoing the three week break which players usually get after the end of a season.

And Clotet has said that in addition to his excellent technical ability, it is his drive and focus that makes him stand out from the rest.

"“I could see that his drive and focus was excellent. When we were in the hotel, he was spot on with his food choices. When we had down time, he was resting or working on injury prevention plans — he was working constantly, chasing a dream. His first dream was to play for his hometown club and on that trip I could see that, 24 hours a day, he was chasing that.”“As soon as we put him into first-team training, you could see this was a player who takes on information. He’s a player you don’t need to tell things three or four times. You tell him once, you show it to him, prove it to him, work with him on the pitch and then he takes it on board.”"

Jude Bellingham of Birmingham City celebrates against Stoke City (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Jude Bellingham of Birmingham City celebrates against Stoke City (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images) /

Borussia Dortmund have plans to use Bellingham as a number eight in the middle of the park, and Clotet believes that the young midfielder’s attributes will suit Der BVB’s style of play.

"“He’s right-footed but his weaker foot is not weak. His father (Mark) put in a lot of work with him when he was young to develop this technical ability. Jude’s technical level was one of the best we had in the team and you could already see that his level of quality on both feet was very similar.”“He’s a physical player who copes very well with physical stress and always gives 100 per cent for the team. Even though he’s an offensive player and can get himself into a lot of dangerous positions, he’s very good defensively. He’s complete — offensively and defensively.”“Physically, he’s grown a lot and got himself very strong and psychologically, he has the drive and the ambition to keep progressing.”“In terms of his future, I see him playing best in a midfield three, as one of the two offensive midfielders in front of the deep midfielder — which is exactly how Dortmund play.”"

Next. Five Borussia Dortmund signings that proved to be bargain buys. dark

Bellingham will travel to the pre-season training camp in Switzerland with his new teammates on August 10. He could make his Borussia Dortmund debut in the second week of September in the first round of the DFB Pokal.