Saturday, October 1, 2022

Jude Bellingham’s message to Jurgen Klopp prior to his Dortmund goal at Etihad against Man City amid Anfield links

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The England international and Liverpool transfer target faced off against the Reds' main rivals in recent years in the Champions League, and he performed admirably.

Jude Bellingham’s message to Jurgen Klopp prior to his Dortmund goal at Etihad against Man City amid Anfield links

Some casual viewers who tuned in to witness much of Jude Bellingham’s match against Manchester City would have been disappointed, believe it or not.

After all, if you didn’t follow the Bundesliga, all you’d be used to seeing is Bellingham’s highlights reel, a driving run here, a great pass there, and an outstanding and feisty post-match interview or two.

But, aside from one superb early pass, there was enough to love about the first 56 minutes of the Englishman’s performance at the Etihad Stadium, and you can guarantee a certain Jurgen Klopp was paying close attention.

He then went on to score a goal.

Bellingham was in the right place at the right time to nod home Dortmund’s opener on a night when they frequently left City angry and frustrated, the hosts unable to break through a yellow wall in the way that they frequently do to pretty much everyone else.

The goal was deserved reward for Bellingham’s performance, but it won’t be the lesson for Klopp and his transfer squad as they watched a player who many anticipate to be wearing red next season.

The true indications that he was meant for the Reds came in the first half, when he and Emre Can – a man who knows exactly what it’s like to play in a Klopp midfield – were incredibly impressive in their conscientious display in the middle of the park.

Bellingham relished the task.

He clashed with Jack Grealish early on, eliciting a smile from the teenager and his fellow Midlander and England teammate.

Later in the half, Grealish was not smiling as Bellingham twice got into positions to block his efforts when he cut inside onto his right foot in that fashion that served him so well at Aston Villa.

Another brilliant interception on Ilkay Gundogan on the edge of the box was followed by a rangy run forward as Bellingham launched the latest Dortmund attacks, which were usually sporadic but carried enough threat to worry an increasingly irritated City.

When Marco Reus clipped a cross into the box early in the second half, that fear turned to panic, and there was Bellingham chance to conquer and stun the hosts.

Of course, City would recover, winning thanks to a goal from the unavoidable Erling Haaland, but it would be Bellingham’s strike that would have caught Klopp’s eye.

Goals haven’t always been the primary request of a Liverpool midfielder, and they probably aren’t even in the top 10 if we’re being honest, but as Klopp rebuilds his squad over the next few years, he’ll need someone who can pitch in with a few strikes.

That player, if he is Bellingham, will not be cheap, but there was much to admire about his performance here.

Defensively, there was the diligence of a Jordan Henderson or Gini Wijnaldum in those Liverpool Champions League and Premier League winning sides, and there was a cutting edge going forward as well.

Liverpool is aware of what it will take to bring Bellingham to Anfield, but on this evidence, whatever it takes will be worthwhile.

Jude Bellingham’s message to Jurgen Klopp prior to his Dortmund goal at Etihad against Man City amid Anfield links

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