Could Jude Be the Eventual Liverpool Number 8…
Below is a link to an article I wrote before the World Cup, before the melee surrounding the on-going LFC ownership. I was assured in my thinking and rightly justified the reasons we could not afford Jude Bellingham. The logic was sound, as the stated price of £100m simply did not fall within a typical FSG model. You can find the link here.
The past few weeks have seen the sale of the club rumble on, with various groups and names attached as potential suitors. This period up until now has also seen something unfold within England’s World Cup camp, and it is both enticing and dangerous to the hopes of all Liverpool fans. Jude Bellingham appears to have formed a strong bond with Trent Alexander Arnold and Jordan Henderson whilst in Qatar, with the senior red taking him under his wing, whilst the younger one befriends him. It has been very public and almost strategic how the Borussia Dortmund man has been treated by the Liverpool players, and it gives the strong impression that they have taken him in as one of their own.
I recall the golden generation, where there were constantly factions within the various England squads. Former players have often spoken of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool players sticking with their respective club mates on tour, with a clear separation caused by their continual domestic battles. This was a clear and common togetherness that was driven by club loyalty and would point to players sticking to and looking after their own. This may have caused some form of detriment within international tournaments and is potentially why that England team never fulfilled the golden promise. With so many alpha males in the room back then, perhaps the likes of Steven Gerard, John Terry and Wayne Rooney were just more comfortable in keeping their club pals close and create a group within a group that would maintain clarity in their usual dislike for each other.
When considering the Jude Bellingham situation, there is an obvious attempt in the actions of our red contingent. Call it noble solidarity if you will, but I see an extraordinary teenage talent being minded by our Liverpool skipper, with a clear purpose to gain his allegiance. Something is most certainly in works, and regardless of whether our players’ efforts prove fruitful, it is undeniable that our club are making firm attempts to gather the former Birmingham man’s loyalty.
In terms of the potential cost of a deal, there is only ever going to be a handful (if that) of people that know what is truly going on. It could be that we are in the preliminary stage of the sale still, or that potential bidders have been narrowed so much that it would give good indication of future funds. I would probably veer to the latter, and predict that however long the process takes, FSG will simply add any major outlay to the £3bn sale anyway. John Henry holds all the cards, and he knows that the elite group of buyers will almost certainly not waiver at the thought of having Jude Bellingham added to the club’s sale price. Despite my efforts to not get ahead of myself, that want has failed me.
I am now fully committed to the Bellingham acquisition process and believe him to be the eventual recipient of our famed number 8 shirt. Despite my adoration of our own Naby Keita, I see his time at Anfield in its final stages, and his shirt be relinquished at the season’s close. I had hoped that our fiercely talented Guinean would explode this season, but sadly the continuing injuries have caused this campaign to implode. With new direction and more funds, the loss on our talented midfielder will have to be absorbed, and new horizons explored.
The shirt once worn by perhaps our most famous son, Steven Gerrard, could be about to find its rightful heir, and despite my arguments against it not so long ago, I would be delighted if I’m proved to be wrong.