Mikel Arteta to cause ‘big problem’ at Liverpool with Arsenal signing of unstoppable Bundesliga ace
An observer believes Liverpool will have to deal with a ‘big problem’ if they are beaten to the signing of Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham by Arsenal or Real Madrid.
Bellingham has proven himself to be one of the best midfielders in Germany over the past few seasons. This term, he has registered 10 goals and five assists from 25 games, while also captaining Dortmund on three occasions.
The England international is still only 19 years old but is already at the level where he could transform Liverpool’s midfield.
With Naby Keita on his way out, potentially to Tottenham, and Thiago and Jordan Henderson past their best, there has never been a better time for the Reds to sign Bellingham than this summer.
Real and Manchester City are generally viewed as Liverpool’s main rivals for Bellingham’s signature. And on Monday, a report by The Athletic revealed which of those clubs is in pole position to complete a transfer.
Despite the teenager being likely to go elsewhere, former striker Darren Bent has told Mikel Arteta and Arsenal to get involved in the hunt.
He ‘would love’ to see Bellingham play for the Gunners, and the move could have serious implications for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
“He [Bellingham] can have the pick of where he wants to go,” Bent said during an appearance on talkSPORT (07/02 at 17:40, via HITC). “I would love to see him at Arsenal, of course. If not Arsenal, then Real Madrid.
Liverpool ‘need Jude Bellingham the most’ – pundit
“I think the team that needs him the most is Liverpool. Look at their midfield. You have got Jords (Henderson) their captain, but he is getting on in age. Thiago has never been blessed with that pace. You have Naby Keita, who looks like he is going to be leaving. [James] Milner and Curtis Jones. They have all these players.
“But I think, Liverpool are the team that needs him the most. He is the one. That could be the one that breaks it all apart (for Klopp).
“If he goes to the board, ‘Bellingham wants to come to us, but we need £120m’. If Liverpool say ‘no’ and don’t back him, then there is going to be a big problem.
“Klopp will be saying ‘what am I doing here?’ We have one of the best talents in Europe, if not the best, who wants to come to our football club. We need to make this happen.”
Klopp eager to start midfield overhaul
Bent is right about Klopp’s desperation to sign Bellingham. The manager is in dire need of a midfield revamp on his squad, and capturing Bellingham would be the ideal way to start this.
There are two big concerns about Liverpool’s ability to snare Bellingham right now. The first, as mentioned by Bent, is whether they can pay the necessary money for him.
Dortmund will ask for at least £120m as Bellingham is arguably their most important player. Liverpool have never gone past £85m for one player, so this would be a big stretch for them.
Plus, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group are considering selling the club. If this does not happen before the summer, then Bellingham’s move to Anfield could come under threat as FSG will not want to stump up the massive sum to sign him.
Secondly, Liverpool may struggle to convince the player they are heading in the right direction. After finishing second behind City last campaign, Liverpool currently sit 10th in the Premier League.
Perhaps only an incredible league run in the second half of the season – which gets them into the top four – will be enough to convince Bellingham on joining.
Meanwhile, a pundit wants Liverpool to sign an ‘amazing’ player from Italy, and he could become Mo Salah’s replacement on the right flank.