Saturday, January 28, 2023

City can land Gundogan 2.0 in Bellingham

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Manchester City are undoubtedly one of the frontrunners in the transfer race to sign Jude Bellingham next summer and his arrival at the Etihad could be a repeat of the masterclass that saw Ilkay Gundogan also join from Borussia Dortmund.

Recent reports have suggested that transfer chiefs at the Etihad are confident that the teenage sensation will make the move to Manchester rather than Liverpool or Real Madrid next summer, with the Pep Guardiola factor likely to be key in the youngster’s decision.

It is claimed that City are prepared to smash their own record for an English player, having spent £100m to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa last summer, although Bellingham’s incredible rise to the top of football at such a young age suggests that he could be a significantly better investment by the Citizens.

Grealish is certainly a fan of his England teammate and sang his praises after a win against the Ivory Coast earlier this year.

He said: “I haven’t actually [played with a teenager better]. It is scary how good he is at 18. He is just so mature. And he is built like he is my age at 26. He has so much technical ability and he is mature for his age.”

This season has seen the former Birmingham City man contribute three goals and two assists in 15 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund, with WhoScored awarding him a superb 7.45 rating for his performances.

Bellingham, who earns £26k-per-week in Germany, has also caught the eye in the Champions League and the World Cup, with seven goal contributions in just 10 appearances across those two competitions, which emphasises that he is already more than capable of playing at the very top level.

If he does make the move to the Etihad and follows in the footsteps of the last midfielder to join City from Dortmund, then he will surely prove to be a big hit in Manchester.

Gundogan joined the Citizens in 2016 to become Guardiola’s first signing and has been hugely successful in his six years with the club, contributing 51 goals and 34 assists in 274 appearances, winning a number of trophies including four Premier League titles.

With the 32-year-old seemingly likely to leave City in the near future, Guardiola will need a replacement, and Txiki Begiristain might consider looking to Signal Iduna Park once again for their next big midfield signing from Dortmund.

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