Everton star Andros Townsend feels Jude Bellingham should stay with Borussia Dortmund for now as the pressure of a return to England may affect his form.
Bellingham, 19, continues to shine for the Bundesliga outfit after moving to Signal Iduna Park from Birmingham City in June 2020. Despite his tender years, the midfielder has already made 76 league appearances and 65 starts. And he has enjoyed 112 outings in all competitions, scoring 19 goals.
But it is his all-round, box-to-box play that has got him noticed and likened to former players such as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
The Stourbridge-born starlet has been capped 18 times by England. And he was the star of the show as the Three Lions beat Iran 6-2 in their World Cup opener.
Unsurprisingly, many clubs have shown an interest in the Dortmund schemer.
Links to Liverpool are never far away. But Chelsea are also keen and owner Todd Boehly appears ready to back Graham Potter.
It seems inevitable that Bellingham will grace the Premier League at some stage of his career.
It remains to be seen if that is next season but Townsend believes the timing is not right for him to quit German football.
And the Toffees man put forward his reasons why it may harm his career to join one of England’s elite clubs next year.
“Id say stay there a bit longer, because if he comes to the Premier League he will be £150m,” he old talkSPORT. “Bellingham scores goals but his main quality isn’t scoring goals.
“He’ll come to the Premier League for £150m, the media, everyone is going to expect him to score goals.
“When he doesn’t do that, even when he’s playing well, they are going to be on his back.”
Townsend worried Bellingham move will echo Grealish
Jack Grealish moved from Aston Villa to Manchester City for £100m last summer.
That figure remains a British football record. However, Bellingham’s price tag has been estimated at around £150m.
That number would place huge pressure on his young shoulders, wherever he played. Grealish has yet to hit the expected heights after his big-money move to the Etihad.
He has been criticised for not living up to his price tag. And Townsend is concerned that Bellingham might suffer the same fate, with far too much expected of the youngster.
“We are going to have a Jack Grealish situation,” he added. “For me, stay in Germany, do what you’re doing and maybe further along the line come back.”
Sky the limit for Bellingham
Bellingham’s name seems to have been on the back pages for some time despite his tender years.
He moved to BVB at the age of just 17 and slotted seamlessly into the German top flight.
The West Midlander played in the same team as Jadon Sancho until his England colleague joined Manchester United in 2021.
Sancho’s Red Devils career has been underwhelming to date. He still has plenty of time to put that right, however.
Townsend’s advice to Bellingham might also have rung true for Sancho, who was a superstar at Dortmund prior to his transfer.
Pundits waxed lyrical about Bellingham’s display against Iran.
And he seems grounded enough to rise above all the speculation and continue his upward curve for club and country.