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Why Liverpool should avoid signing Jude Bellingham in the summer

The Reds are one of a cadre of global giants that are prepared to fight for the 21-year-old wunderkind’s services during the upcoming summer transfer window, but it may be the better part of produce to avoid the massive fee it would take to bring him to Anfield


On a night when many from the red half of Merseyside flooded into their beloved Anfield in the hopes that the historic ground could once again provide an x-factor under the lights during a European clash, Liverpool was given a harsh lesson at the hands of holding champions league winners Real Madrid after their 5-2 thrashing of Jürgen Klopp’s troops.

For Carlo Ancelotti, it was another impressive managerial performance added to an endless procession across his iconic CV that has spanned nearly twenty-eight years and featured over twenty-five major honors that now rest comfortably in retirement in his trophy cabinet.

And while there is no fault in being turned over by a side led by the Italian, the manner in which Liverpool capitulated after being two to the good in front of the Kop is a microcosm of the growing concerns surrounding the 2022-23 campaign.

Currently sitting nineteen points off the pace set by table-topping Arsenal, and seventeen points adrift of Premier League holders Manchester City, Liverpool’s usual seat of prominence at the Premier League round table is under serious threat.

The Reds have hardly been at the races this season in their own right, having already dropped points in over half of their twenty-two league fixtures at the time of writing. This, in conjunction with overachieving campaigns from the likes of Newcastle United, Fulham, and Brighton, paints a painful picture for the historic club and their chances of direct Champions League qualifying next season.

Additionally, the question of whether or not the Jürgen Klopp cycle has come to a full stop at the same station that saw Borussia Dortmund’s rapid fall in what was also the German’s seventh season at the helm at Signal Iduna Park - which similarly mirrored his tenure at 1.FSV Mainz 05 - continues to be a talking point that will pick up steam. But what is painfully clear, is the reality that Liverpool needs major surgery on the senior squad come the summer.

Many are looking at England starlet Jude Bellingham to potentially be a part of that surgical process in the northwest of England after Liverpool is said to view him as their chief transfer target in the summer. The 21-year-old is widely expected to leave the Ruhr Valley despite Dortmund’s desire to keep him at the club, with Liverpool one of a cadre of global giants - including Manchester City, and Real Madrid - prepared to go toe-to-toe in a deal that could end up going as high as £150m while setting another Premier League transfer record just months after Chelsea’s successful capture of SL Benfica’s World Cup-winning midfielder Enzo Fernández.

However, at that price point, it may be the better part of prudence for Liverpool to look elsewhere when their plans to refresh the squad are set in motion, with some postulating Cobham Academy standard bearer Mason Mount as an ideal candidate to consider.

As one of the most high-coveted players in recent memory, Bellingham has rocketed up the collective consciousness of fans both in England and across the continent after his meteoric rise in Germany while also now being viewed as a vital cog in the Three Lions wheel. His talent profile is undeniable, and his developmental ceiling is even more impressive, but despite those unquestionable realities, the investment that Liverpool needs to make in order to hopefully avoid running aground is such that one massive move for the player is not enough to help the club re-establish its domestic credentials. Liverpool needs a new engine, not just a paint job.

In truth, fans and Liverpool brass alike must come to terms with the fact that four, five, or maybe even six players are needed to come in during the summer window, but to spend a record fee on one supremely talented footballer may strip the club of its chance to refresh properly.

Apart from losing James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on free transfers in the summer, others the likes of Naby Keïta and possibly Jordan Henderson may also face the chopping block for one reason or another. Despite the rise of youngster Stefan Bajčetić in the heart of midfield and Curtis Jones still viewed as a piece of the future, the Reds are still in desperate need of not just multiple signings in the center of the park, but must also consider reinforcements in central defense, and in one - or both - of the full-back positions at the very least.

If Liverpool is to truly put the pieces back together into a completed puzzle capable of once again challenging for major honors, despite how much of a singular needle-pusher Jude Bellingham undoubtedly will be, Merseyside may have to pass on a generational talent. After all, even players at the top of the footballing ladder are incapable of sustaining a tune without the rest of the band.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.


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