Former Liverpool and England striker Emile Heskey believes Jude Bellingham has the talent to become a global superstar over the next few years.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool after repeatedly showcasing his quality for club and country over the past couple of seasons.
The 19-year-old has been a standout performer for the German club, sparking talk that a move to one of Europe’s big-hitters is on the cards next summer.
Bellingham has also impressed on the international stage with England, establishing himself as a regular starter in the Three Lions’ midfield.
He was on the scoresheet in England’s World Cup opener against Iran, before producing another solid display in their second outing against the United States.
His efforts have helped keep England amongst the front-runners in the latest World Cup betting ahead of their final group game against Wales on Tuesday.
Heskey has been impressed by England’s performances in Qatar to date, and singled out Bellingham and Arsenal star Bukayo Saka for special praise.
“Saka I thought was fantastic,” Heskey told Betway. “He just surprises me again and again, at such a young age.
“To come from an Arsenal team, where he’s the best player and a major influence on results, and then to reproduce it at a major tournament is so impressive.
“Jude’s stock is rising and rising, too. He’s a phenomenal player and I don’t know what the limit is for him because he’s got everything.”
Bellingham’s rise to prominence has inevitably attracted plenty of interest from several of Europe’s top clubs, and a bidding war for his services is likely to unfold next summer.
Liverpool are reportedly one of three clubs leading the chase to sign Bellingham, with Manchester City and Real Madrid also in the mix.
Manchester United and Chelsea have also been linked with the midfielder, who is expected to command a transfer fee of around £128 million.
Liverpool’s acquisitions of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and Darwin Nunez demonstrate that they are willing to pay big money for the right players.
Whether they would be prepared to break their transfer record to sign Bellingham is up for debate, particularly as there are other options worth considering.
They include Brighton & Hove Albion star Moises Caicedo and Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez, both of whom would be cheaper to buy.
However, Heskey believes the way Bellingham has been playing for England highlights why Liverpool should push the boat out to sign him.
“It’s so impressive that these young players go out there and express themselves how they do,” Heskey added.
“It’s all you want at a tournament, really, the opportunity to show your best. But it’s easier said than done.
“They play with no fear, with a smile on their face and genuinely seem to love what they do. They have that will to win and that passion to win, but embrace it rather than fear it.”