Liverpool would be getting a great person as well as a great player if they signed midfield target Jude Bellingham, one pundit has said.
The Reds have long had links with revitalising their midfield and made such a move in the summer. Although, the loan arrival of Juventus man Arthur Melo on deadline day was not what some fans wanted.
A big-money move for a marquee target is instead a Liverpool possibility in 2023.
And Liverpool have had the strongest links with Borussia Dortmund’s England man Bellingham. Dortmund did not want to sell the 19-year-old this summer because they also let Erling Haaland leave, for Manchester City.
Reports claim that Liverpool, who have a history of waiting for top targets, will look to sign Bellingham next year. They will have to beat transfer rivals such as Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, ex-Reds goalkeeper David James talked up the rising star teenager. Indeed, the pundit claimed Bellingham’s personality is something rarely talked about – but is just as important.
“Yes, well I say all out for, Jude Bellingham as a player is exceptional, given his age and everything,” James said. “He’s an exceptional talent.
“But more importantly, having done an interview with him once, as a character he is fantastic.
“I think again, the idea of just seeing someone’s player status and performances on a football pitch, via video or whatever, you want to know what the person is like.
“From my experience with Jude Bellingham, he is the type of character that you want to bring into the Liverpool squad. Then you add his ability and you have got in a way a double power.”
Bellingham does not mean Liverpool sacrifice
Dortmund have supposedly set a £131million price tag on Bellingham, who looks a generational talent in midfield.
On Monday, he starred once again for England, sparking the comeback against Germany before the 3-3 draw.
Further reports claim the German side could look to Liverpool’s Naby Keita – who bossed the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig before his move to Anfield – as a potential replacement.
Although, James has insisted that the Reds do not need to sacrifice anyone to fit Bellingham in, only adding to their squad strength.
“But I’m not here to say that Liverpool need to lose a player and replace him with Jude Bellingham,” the pundit said.
“I think with the quality of the squad and the quality of the coaching staff, Liverpool have already got a side that is capable of competing, but if they can add to that, all well and good.”
Reds need statement midfield signing
Amid the calls for Liverpool to sign Bellingham next summer, they simply need a statement midfield addition of any kind.
There have not been many midfielders in that category since Jurgen Klopp arrived – at least ones that have paid off.
Thiago Alcantara was a statement addition from Bayern Munich in 2020 and – injury aside – he has become vital for Klopp.
Keita arrived in 2018 as Liverpool’s then-record signing from Leipzig for around £52million. However, he has been beset by injuries and has not lived up to his reputation four years ago.
Other midfield signings such as James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum were not standout signings as such, but showed the shrewdness and impressive recruitment from Klopp and Liverpool.
Nevertheless, there comes a time when Liverpool need to make another statement midfield signing – like they have in other areas.
In defence, Virgil van Dijk’s £75million arrival from Southampton caught the eye. He has proved his worth and then some. Up front, Darwin Nunez could be on his way to being another high-profile addition which Klopp has got right.
Bellingham could complete that set in 2023 if he moves to Anfield. However, it will not be easy for the Reds to convince him amid interest from Madrid, Man Utd and others.