Jude Bellingham will turn just 19 next June, but the England midfielder has already emerged as a leader on and off the field for Dortmund, where he shares a flat with his mother who stretches his legs. Holds firmly on the ground.
Bellingham are in their second season in Germany, but will be one of Dortmund’s starting line-up against Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday in the Champions League.
Dortmund’s 2014 World Cup winner Matt Hummels insists he is “the smartest, most serious 18-year-old.”
“Jude is already one of the leaders, one of the loudest on the team.
“He is a great footballer and a great man. No doubt he will go his own way.”
Where exactly Belingham’s future “way” lies is the subject of much UK media speculation.
His Dortmund contract runs until 2025, but Liverpool are reportedly at the forefront of Premier League clubs eager to sign a central midfielder who has been fantastic this season.
Dortmund sold Jadon Sancho to Manchester United for 85 million euros (100 100 million) in July and Bellingham is the latest talented Englishman. The German club has become a potential Premier League star.
England manager Gareth Southgate saw enough for Bellingham to make his international debut last November.
Hometown club Birmingham City signed for 23 23 million last year for 17 million, making Bellingham one of the best central midfielders in the Bundesliga.
“I’m sure we’ll see him in the Premier League in a few years,” former Liverpool winger Steve McMann wrote in an online column, predicting Bellingham. That’s three times the amount. “
Bellingham scored a superb goal, then Earling Browth led the Netherlands to a 2-1 win over Dortmund in the opening Champions League game in Besiktas.
Bellingham kissed Holland on the cheek in a post-match interview and their new partnership also led to a 3-2 win over Hoffenheim in August.
“It’s crazy how good he is and he’s only 18, three years younger than me.”
Dortmund coach Marco Rose is just as excited.
“Jude is a great guy,” Rose said.
Bellingham still has a long way to go, such as when he allowed Mچnchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria to react the fastest to a loose ball in the area to score in Dortmund’s 1-0 defeat on Saturday.
Without the Netherlands and club captain Marco Reus, Bellingham struggled to prove itself.
Off the pitch, Bellingham lives like a normal young man.
During his four years at Dortmund, Sancho was regularly dropped due to lack of time.
Bellingham is keeping an eye on his mother as he shares a Dortmund flat while his younger brother and father return home to Birmingham.
Coveted 19 travel restrictions mean that families were rarely reunited during epidemics.
“We always said that either of us, me or Mark (Bellingham’s father) would be with him,” Dennis Bellingham told broadcaster DAZN.
“Not a day goes by when you don’t think it’s good to be together as a family, but we always knew it was on the cards.”
Bellingham says he “can’t be more grateful” for living with his parents.
He claims he has no pre-match nerves, but his mother says “I see butterflies all the time. You worry about things, which is natural as a parent.”