It’s clear for all to see that Liverpool are in desperate need of another quality midfielder by the next summer window at the very latest.
One such name which continues to be linked with the task of safeguarding the middle of the park for Jurgen Klopp’s men for the next decade or so is that of Jude Bellingham.
Looking deeper into the various aspects of the 19-year-old’s game in Germany, the former Birmingham City youth prospect appears practically mouldable to most systems across Europe thanks to his involvement in various phases of play and versatility of role.
“Defining Bellingham as a box-to-box midfielder might do him a disservice, suggesting he is simply able to shuttle up and down the pitch with continued energy,” James Pearce, Laurie Whitwell and others wrote for The Athletic.
“For the record, he is able to do that, but there is more nuance to his game.
“Looking at his touch map below across European competitions last season, you can see he would get involved in Dortmund’s build-up within central areas in his own half, but in attacking phases of play he would drift into half spaces or wide areas to receive the ball and support his full-back – depending on his role within the game.
One element, in particular, that will be greatly attractive to a manager like Jurgen Klopp will be the teenager’s willingness to press high up the pitch to win the ball back in the opposition’s third.
“One trait that will be suited to the high-pressing style of the Premier League is Bellingham’s work off the ball,” the journalists continued.
“As you can see above, his defensive actions contribute well to his team’s attacking play, turning the ball over in dangerous areas high up the field.
“That will be music to the ears of a manager like Klopp.”
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Add in an ability to cover the right-flank when Trent Alexander-Arnold goes ranging into the middle of the park and beyond and Liverpool would pretty much have the perfect midfielder to solve their current struggles in that department.
The reality is that no outfit will be capable of prising Bellingham away any earlier than the next summer window, and even then it will be a task and a half given the gigantic asking price set for his services.
Only time will tell whether we’ll balk at the fee or rise to the occasion for a potentially generational talent.