‘Bellingham is Gerrard-esque & potential is frightening’ – Man Utd & Chelsea talk no surprise to Pennant

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The ex-Blues winger says any top club should be mulling over a move for the teenage midfielder, with the intention of loaning him back to St Andrew’s
The ex-Blues winger says any top club should be mulling over a move for the teenage midfielder, with the intention of loaning him back to St Andrew’s

Jude Bellingham is a player in the Steven Gerrard mould, says Jermaine Pennant, with his “frightening” potential being noted by the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.

At just 16 years of age, the Birmingham midfielder has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in English football.

His future is now expected to lie well outside of St Andrew’s, with Premier League heavyweights lining up to discuss a big-money deal.

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Former Birmingham star Pennant is not surprised by the surge in interest, with Bellingham considered to be capable of following in the footsteps of a Liverpool legend.

The ex-Blues winger told talkSPORT: “He’s a fantastic player. He reminds me of a young Steven Gerrard.

“He throws himself about, he can get up and down the pitch, he can score goals and assist goals, he’s got trickery. He’s a fantastic young player.

“And at 16 years of age he’s doing this week in, week out in the Championship.

“The Championship is a very, very strong, demanding and physical league, and he’s throwing his body about; he’s strong and he’s only going to get stronger.

“I’m surprised there are not more teams interested in him than just Chelsea and Manchester United because he is a really special talent.

“What he can achieve in his career is frightening.”

While expecting Bellingham to be lured away from the West Midlands at some stage in the near future, Pennant believes that remains the perfect place for his development at present.

A man who made a high-profile move of his own while still in his teens, with Arsenal snapping him up from Notts County, believes a loan spell back at Birmingham should form part of any transfer discussions.

Pennant added: “I feel if a move does happen, for his potential ability to get better he should really stay at Birmingham.

“Sign a deal with one of the massive clubs, great, but hopefully they can discuss a deal where he goes back to Birmingham to further progress in his career.”

Bellingham became Birmingham’s youngest-ever debutant when making his competitive bow against Portsmouth in a Carabao Cup clash back in August 2019.

Since then, he has gone on to take in a further 29 appearances and registered four senior goals.

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