Erik ten Hag urged to sign ‘hottest youngster’ in world as Wayne Rooney reveals key trait to transform Man Utd fortunes

Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund 2022 TEAMtalk21 Credit: Alamy
Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund 2022 TEAMtalk21 Credit: Alamy

Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United should move mountains to sign red-hot youngster Jude Bellingham who could have a transformative impact on the club.

Bellingham, 19, is currently in his third season for Borussia Dortmund after moving to the Bundesliga outfit in July 2020. BVB paid Birmingham City around £25m for the starlet’s signature – making him the most expensive 17-year-old in history. And he has seen plenty of game time despite his young age.

Bellingham was handed 19 starts among 29 league appearances in 2020-2021. And he was given the nod on 32 occasions by Marco Rose last season.

Current coach Edin Terzic is clearly of the same opinion as his predecessor. Bellingham has played every minute of Dortmund’s 15 top-flight games in 2022-2023.

The Stourbridge-born ace has responded with a series of eye-catching displays, with three goals to his name.

He has been selected for England’s World Cup squad and has every chance of making a real splash in Qatar.

The midfielder has been linked with many clubs over the past couple of years. Liverpool and Manchester City are both thought to hold an interest.

Rooney feels his former club should try to get the youngster on board and prevent a couple of rivals from landing the superstar.

“I hope so,” he told talkSPORT when asked if the Red Devils should target Bellingham. “I hope he doesn’t go to Liverpool or City.

“But I’m sure they’re doing their work, he’s probably the hottest youngster in world football at the minute.

“I’m sure United are looking at that as well, I know they tried to get him a couple of years ago, so I’d hope so. He’s a player that United could really do with at the minute.”

Bellingham steel impresses Rooney

Bellingham is not a prolific goalscorer but does chip in with some important strikes. He has found the net on 19 occasions for Dortmund.

But it is his presence in midfield that marks him out as a player to watch. The teenager has collected 18 yellow cards and been sent off once while with his present employers.

And Rooney revealed his personal experience of just how tough the former Stourbridge youth star can be.

“I played against Bellingham when he was at Birmingham and I was at Derby,” he added.

“And he actually man-marked me during the game, I think he was about 16, maybe just 17, and what I really liked about him is every time I passed the ball off, he’d leave a stud in on me.

“And I remember thinking, ‘he’s got something about him’.”

Bellingham star quality to rub off on Man Utd squad

Manchester United sit fifth in her Premier League standings with one game remaining before the World Cup break.

Erik ten Hag is looking to transform the club’s fortunes and return them to their former status as top dogs of the English game.

It is not a quick fix, however, and the Dutchman knows he will need to recruit well. Rooney believes snaring Bellingham would be a real coup.

And the ex-England skipper is adamant that the Midlander would have an ability to influence his team-mates despite his tender years.

“Just that mentality, even though he’s young, he can put some of that character into some of the rest of the squad in my eyes,” he continued.

Bellingham is clearly going to end up at a top English club. United fans will hope they see him at Old Trafford and don’t have to watch another young star arrive at the Etihad.

READ MORE: Erik ten Hag admits concerns over ‘important’ Man Utd ace; cites five reasons why things must change

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