Ex-Arsenal scout reveals they failed on ‘two occasions’ to sign ‘very complete’ Liverpool target

Arsenal missed out on Bellingham Credit: Alamy
Arsenal missed out on Bellingham Credit: Alamy

Ex-Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao has revealed that his former club failed on two occasions to sign Jude Bellingham prior to his move to Borussia Dortmund.

Bellingham’s rise over the past couple of years has been extraordinary.

The 19-year-old is a player beyond his years both in terms of his talent and his maturity.

He made his senior debut for Birmingham City when he was just 16 and he made 44 appearances for his boyhood club during his debut season.

Bellingham has spent the past couple of years at Dortmund and he is now one of their most important players. He has even captained the German side in the Bundesliga and Champions League this season.

The centre-midfielder is now being trusted by Gareth Southgate at the World Cup and he started against Iran on Monday. He was one of England’s better performers and he scored in their 6-2 victory.

Man Utd legend Roy Keane was full of praise for Bellingham post-match as the starlet is already “brilliant”.

“Absolutely amazing, I think he is brilliant now. Absolutely brilliant, he’s made a point there about adding more goals to his game at international level, he does score at club level,” Keane said.

“He plays with a maturity, he’s got everything you want in a midfielder in the middle of the park in terms of his physique, his maturity, his decision-making, his skill.”

He added: “In his interview afterwards he comes across as a really good kid, playing very mature. The kid has got everything.”

Bellingham is not expected to be at Borussia Dortmund for much longer as Liverpool and Real Madrid are among the clubs battling for his signature.

His contract is not up until 2025 and it is expected that he will cost over £100m next summer.

Cagigao played a key role to help Arsenal sign the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

He has now revealed that Arsenal attempted to sign Bellingham before he made his debut for Birmingham.

“Jude is a footballer I’ve known since he was 15, when he was at Birmingham,” Cagigao told La Voz de Galacia.

“At Arsenal we even made an offer for him… on two occasions.

“His football growth at Borussia Dortmund has been as expected. He is a very complete footballer, with an impressive physical display.

“But there is no need to push him at this time.

“Although he has personality and character, he must continue to improve his decision-making on the field.”

Arsenal are not the only club who have missed out on Bellingham, though. Frank Lampard recently revealed that he wanted to sign while he was in charge of Chelsea.

“He’s crucial for England – an outstanding talent,” Lampard said.

“He’s more experienced and talented than his years show – to do what he’s done at the top level already.

“I tried to sign him when I was at Chelsea, unfortunately that didn’t happen, I tried to sign him and Declan Rice.”

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