Everton defender Conor Coady has revealed the driving force behind Liverpool being top of the pile in the pursuit of Jude Bellingham.
Bellingham has been a highly sought after asset of late. Indeed, he is establishing himself as one of the most talented players in Europe.
That he is doing so at just 19 years of age has meant a lot of sides have taken notice.
Indeed, after a near £25million transfer as a 17-year-old, he started to make waves at Borussia Dortmund. The youngster made 46 appearances in his first season in Germany, and did not look out of place.
In his second season, he struck up a great partnership with Erling Haaland. Bellingham provided eight Bundesliga assists, as well as finding himself on the scoresheet in the league three times.
He also scored twice and assisted twice in just two Europa League games. This season, that he is now one of the best players in Europe has been clear.
That is mainly thanks to his exploits in the Champions League. He has scored four goals and registered one assist in five games so far in the competition.
During that time, there have been reports linking him to a move to most of Europe’s top sides. Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid have all been linked.
Liverpool on top thanks to one factor
Bellingham’s World Cup performances will no doubt raise his stock even more. The 19-year-old scored his first Three Lions goal in their 6-2 opener against Iran.
He has started each game for England in the tournament so far and has been putting in good performances.
He started in a midfield three with Jordan Henderson in the 3-0 win in the final group game against Wales. Everton defender Coady has detailed the influence Henderson is having on Bellingham.
“Talking about Hendo and how he leads by the examples he sets. What he’s like in training. Driving people. I think he’s a massive factor in it and getting on with everybody in the group,” he said via the Mirror.
“He looks after Jude like there is no tomorrow. Jude is a young lad, sometimes we forget that because he is so mature and a fantastic footballer. I would say someone like Henderson and [Kyle] Walker set the example.”
That Henderson and Bellingham have a good relationship could be good for Liverpool’s transfer interest.
The Liverpool man is clearly a leader both with England and the Reds. As such, that he and Bellingham get on well on and off the pitch could mean the youngster would favour a move to Anfield.
It would not be a surprise if Henderson was already trying to convince him to join.
“He said something the other day about his mum making his bed, no word of a lie. We are talking about Jude Bellingham here, one of the best players in the world, and Hendo sat up at dinner and went ‘What?’ and Jude went ‘Yeah, my mum makes my bed’. So Hendo is battering him,” Coady added.
That connection is one that Liverpool fans will hope can help them to the transfer of one of the most promising players in world football.