What to expect from Jude Bellingham: Borussia Dortmund’s newest young star

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

Career So Far

As a player who has often been lauded for having maturity well beyond his years, Bellingham’s youth career speaks for itself in terms of affirming those beliefs. Ever since the age of 8, the Stourbridge born youngster has punched well above his own weight in terms of his performances for Birmingham City.

He made appearances for the U18’s aged just 14, and one year later, he was moved up to the U23s, a clear definition of the caliber of player Birmingham had on their hands. In August of 2019, Bellingham became Birmingham City’s youngest ever first team player after making his debut in their EFL Cup game against Portsmouth.

Former Birmingham manager Pep Clotet has spoken in glowing terms about the player, who has shown an immense level of professionalism and drive to perform well at the top level. In an interview with The Athletic, Clotet was quick to mention how after he was in a position to make decisions regarding Bellingham training with the first team, he did not hesitate whatsoever, mainly due to the level of maturity and self criticism Bellingham displayed.

"“I’ve had a lot of experience developing players and with a talent like this. You see similar things. For example: the way that they look at their own performances; being a perfectionist and understanding they have to show the best side of themselves constantly, in the way that they deal with failure and then, of course, their technical ability.” – Pep Clotet"

Bellingham possessed all these facets, which made the decision to get him into the first team picture very easy. The main thing for Clotet was, despite noticing his talent, he felt a need to manage the expectations on Jude’s shoulders.

"“I heard so many times from former colleagues, ‘He’s too young’ or ‘he will not cope with it’ but I believe that talent always finds a way through. And Jude is in a club where everyone believes in him, so it was about managing him, showing him that this step was the most important one he’s going to make in his career but that with all the support of his family and the club he will make it.“"

There wasn’t a moment where Clotet thought Bellingham wasn’t capable of handling the pressure, but as with any young player, managing expectations and responsibility is key, so that they do not feel the weight of the world too early on, allowing them to play freely and develop.

Bellingham did just that; In 44 appearances for his boyhood club, the midfielder became an integral player for his team, and his impact on the club was recognised by Birmingham City, as they retired the number 22 following his transfer to Borussia Dortmund.

It is of course a rather surprising gesture by the club, but what it does show is how highly regarded Bellingham is by his former club, with his contributions being recognised as meriting such a gesture. It is no doubt that Bellingham has a strong connection with Birmingham City, one the club wished to immortalize and reciprocate.