New Borussia Dortmund signing, Jude Bellingham has said he can’t thank his former club, Birmingham City enough for helping his development.
The English teenager started at St Andrew’s at the age of seven. He later became a star in the team and got the attention of several big clubs. He is now opening a new chapter in his career with the BVB.
Bellingham is now a £25 million ($33m) asset on Borussia Dortmund’s books at just 17 years of age and his meteoric rise to prominence was obvious over the course of the last 12 months.
The 17-year-old made his senior debut at the age of 16 years and 38 days. Since then, he has not looked back.
Jude Bellingham praised his former club in a goodbye message
Despite being wanted by Premier League heavyweights, the midfielder, who has been invited to England Under 21 decided to join the German giants in that transfer scramble in July.
“What Birmingham City did for me, I can’t thank them enough, I’d thank them a million times because they’ve given me the platform to go on and achieve the things that I have.
“I got so much support from them, all the way through from the age of seven. I must give thanks to Pep Clotet, it’s never easy for any manager of a team to throw in a 16-year-old, especially in the Championship, but for him to stick by me was huge,” Bellingham told the EFL’s official website.
Bellingham’s rapid progress has earned him the EFL Young Player of the Season award for 2019-20 and the LFE Championship Apprentice of the Year prize.
Speaking on how he got to this point, the teenager added that it wasn’t all about quality where young players are concerned.
“It’s about having that fire in your belly, the hunger to stand out, and change a game regardless of your age. It’s easy to be given your debut and then coasts a little bit, but to go and make an impact like many young players have done is a credit to young players in this league, the clubs that they’re at, and the league itself.
“For me personally, it just took a lot of hard work. I wanted this more than anything in the world; to get into the first team and perform for Birmingham City was the only goal I had and that was my determination.
“There are some fantastic opportunities within the EFL with the cup competitions especially, it gives youngsters like me a chance and a platform to shine, especially when we’re coming up against experienced first-team professionals.”
Bellingham also expressed his delight to have an opportunity of playing for the Bundesliga club. The English teenager is now lining up alongside the likes of Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland. He plans to further unlock the potentials in his game as he continues to take giants steps up the football ladder.
“I’m very grateful to get the opportunity to play for this club.
“I really appreciate the trust they’ve put in me by signing me. We’ve had a lot of training sessions, a few pre-season games and I just can’t wait to get started. It’s been so far, so good for me and I just want to carry that into the main season.”