Liverpool have one of the most developed midfield departments in Europe. However, there are other issues underneath the surface that must be addressed. Jordan Henderson, the club captain, is 32, James Milner is 36, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has barely played, and Naby Keita’s future is uncertain. As players leave and retire, the Reds’ midfield will need to be rebuilt over the next year or two. According to reports, Jurgen Klopp and his team of analysts are interested in signing the English teenage sensation, Jude Bellingham, from Borussia Dortmund in the next summer transfer window.
Bellingham started all six games for Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League last season as they were eliminated in the group stages. He was on the field for 500 minutes, scoring one and assisting three times. He took 2.37 shots per 90, with 28.57% hitting the target. The Englishman ranked in the top 8% among midfielders in headed shots per 90. He attempted 5.59 dribbles per 90, with an 81.82% success rate. Bellingham was engaged in little under 13 offensive duels per 90 minutes and slightly more than 11 attacking actions per 90 minutes.
Bellingham’s three assists significantly surpassed his xA. With 0.51 assists per 90, he was ranked in the top 3% of midfielders. He was more involved in build-up play, trying almost 44 passes per 90, yet his pass accuracy of 84.73% was only slightly higher than the median number. Bellingham was also not hesitant to take chances with ball progression, registering over six balls into the final third per 90 with an accuracy just under 81%. The youngster averaged almost 2.5 progressive runs per 90 for Die Schwarzgelben. With 2.2 smart passes per 90, the Englishman was placed in the 93rd percentile.
As shown in the heat map above, Bellingham grabbed control of the midfield area for Borussia Dortmund. During the competition, he tried 14 shots for the squad, four of which challenged the opposition goalkeepers. He worked his socks off when off the ball. The Englishman tried 23.4 pressures per 90, 3.93 tackles & interceptions per 90 and 2.68 blocks per 90 minutes.
Bellingham, as demonstrated in the above pass map, kept the ball ticking for Dortmund and was a metronome in the centre of the pitch. With the ball at his feet, he completed 3.93 progressive passes per 90, 4.64 balls into the attacking third per 90, 6.96 progressive carries per 90 and 1.07 carries into the penalty box per 90.
Jude Bellingham rapidly established himself at Borussia Dortmund after joining from Birmingham City in July 2020. However, another season of growth and game-time at Signal Iduna Park will do wonders for the Englishman’s overall level. With the contracts of James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita all expiring in 12 months’ time, Bellingham would look perfect in the Liverpool midfield next season but not in this season.