Jude Bellingham has taken the football world by storm.
Aged 18-years-old, Bellingham has already established himself as part of the Borussia Dortmund midfield.
A mainstay in the Dortmund side, how has a teenager from Stourbridge become one of football’s hottest prospects?
Playing football was already in the family, with Jude’s dad a prolific goalscorer across non-league.
Netting over 700 times for various clubs, Mark Bellingham played at a semi-pro level well into his forties.
A career in football for Jude came as no surprise, but few in the Bellingham household will have predicted what happened next.
Joining local club Birmingham City at under-eight level, Bellingham impressed in the Blues’ youth team setup.
Fast-tracked through the Academy, Bellingham made his first-team debut aged 16.
Read: Arsenal had ‘done deal’ to sign Bellingham.
Unsurprisingly breaking the previous record for the youngest ever first-team player, Bellingham didn’t take long to establish himself.
After making 41 league appearances in his maiden campaign for the Blues, Bellingham caught the attention of German giants Dortmund.
Arriving at the eight-time German champions in the summer of 2020, the then 17-year-old adapted to the Bundesliga quickly.
Despite his age, Bellingham was thrown straight into the mix; he made 46 appearances during the 2020/21 season.
Although, it was on Europe’s most prestigious stage where Bellingham caught the headlines.
Bellingham opts out of Man United move
Dazzling during Dortmund’s run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Bellingham featured in every match of the competition.
A dynamic midfielder, Bellingham even netted during Dortmund’s narrow 4-2 aggregate defeat to eventual runners-up Manchester City.
However, had things worked out differently for the former Birmingham man, he may have been lining up for a different Manchester side.
Reports in the Athletic revealed that Bellingham turned down a move to Manchester United in January 2020.
Desperate to land his signature, the Premier League club pulled out all the stops to sign Bellingham. They even arranged a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Their efforts proved unsuccessful, as Bellingham snubbed United for Dortmund.
Bellingham followed in the footsteps of current United winger Jadon Sancho. He saw the opportunities Dortmund offers young players as too good to turn down. Dortmund provided a guarantee that United couldn’t: Gametime.
“How much they help to improve young players made it an easy decision,” explained Bellingham after joining Dortmund.
What would Bellingham have been like at United?
Above all, it’s clear United’s current midfield needs a makeover. United fans often criticise the Fred and Scott McTominay partnership for lacking creativity.
What’s more, with Paul Pogba likely to leave, United will need to recruit in the upcoming summer window.
Bellingham remains a target for the Reds, but it’s expected a hefty sum is the only thing that will lure him away from Dortmund.