Roy Keane claimed an England star persistently linked with Liverpool has “scary” potential and is already showing quality the Irishman didn’t know he had.
England rolled over San Marino on Monday night when thumping the minnow nation 10-0. The victory secured England’s place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and given the gulf in talent and resources, the result was never in doubt.
Nonetheless, the old adage of ‘you can only beat what’s in front of you‘ remains. And against admittedly weak opposition, Keane was taken aback by Jude Bellingham.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder played the full 90 minutes and oozed class. That is nothing new for the midfielder, however, despite still only being 18-years-old.
Nonetheless, Keane was effusive in his praise while working as a pundit on ITV.
“He’s got a great chance, the kid, we love everything about him,” said Keane (via the Sun).
“What he does on the pitch, the way he speaks off it, he’s playing week in, week out for a top club [Borussia Dortmund]. The potential in this kid is scary.”
“I saw him recently playing in a Champions League game and he was producing passes… I didn’t think he had that in his locker quite yet.
“The potential for this boy, he’s a good size, he’s like a boxer, he’s a strong powerful boy. Gareth [Southgate] must be rubbing his hands.”
Another manager who may be rubbing his hands together is Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool have repeatedly been linked with Bellingham since the summer window closed.
The links were so strong, in fact, that Dortmund were reported to be weighing up signing Jude’s younger brother from Birmingham City, Jobe, in order to boost their chances of retaining the older brother.
A fee that would break their transfer record would likely be required if Liverpool were to sign Jude, though they were given hope in early November.
Former player Craig Hignett told BBC Radio Merseyside: “I think I’ve heard it on good authority and I can’t say where I’ve heard it from. But apparently he has been saying that he is Liverpool bound.”
Dortmund chief Michael Zorc then hinted Bellingham’s future will remain in Germany – at least for the short-term.
Nonetheless, reliable journalists Paul Joyce and Matt Lawton previously confirmed Liverpool hold ‘significant interest’. As such, few would be surprised to see Liverpool try their luck in a future window.
Keane explains where Alexander-Arnold has been going wrong
Meanwhile, Keane believes Trent Alexander-Arnold may have been trying “too hard” at times recently, but is getting back in form by focusing on “what he’s good at”.
Alexander-Arnold provided a triple assist for England against San Marino in a 10-0 win on Monday night. Despite the lower level of opposition, it was a good reminder of his international credentials.
Keane said: “Not a bad night for him considering he has got what, three or four assists tonight? Sometimes players do try too hard. We have seen that with one of the two younger players. But he got back to what he’s good at. Putting it in the right areas.
“Delivery. Fantastic – he talks about Beckham. He used to put it into areas. It’s not about picking people out, just put it into the right area and people will attack it.”
Even so, Keane warned Alexander-Arnold that he may have to adjust his style to maintain his place in the lineup for the long-term.
Keane added: “Again, he is 23. He is learning about the game. Sometimes you do have to adapt if you want to get in.
“You talk about him as a wing-back. I think he can play that role, but obviously his strength is at right-back. He is brilliant at it, he is absolutely brilliant it. But he is 23. He is still learning about the game. He is not at his peak yet.”