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Inside Jude Bellingham's friendship with Trent Alexander-Arnold after Liverpool transfer rumors

The friendship between Jude Bellingham and England teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold has been clear to see so far during Euro 2024
-Credit: (Image: Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)


Liverpool's efforts to convince Jude Bellingham to chose the Reds as his next club fell flat last summer but it appears that this saga has not harmed the burgeoning friendship between the Real Madrid ace and Trent Alexander Arnold.

The Reds were heavily linked with the then-Borussia Dortmund talent heading into what proved to be Jurgen Klopp's final season with the club. However, the lure of the Santiago Bernabeu ultimately proved too difficult for the ex-Birmingham City academy graduate to resist as Los Blancos won the race for his signature.

However, Bellingham's relationship with Liverpool's vice-captain seemingly continues to go from strength to strength, with the pair having become close while representing their country. The first public signs of a friendship developing between the duo came at the World Cup in Qatar back in late 2022.

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At the height of the speculation that the midfielder was set for a move to Anfield, Alexander-Arnold was pictured enjoying free time with his teammate during the tournament. Sending the rumor mill into overdrive at the time, the snap was posted by the Reds fan favorite, with the caption: "Stroll in the City with Bro @BellinghamJude."

Fast forward a couple of years and Bellingham's celebration in the win over Serbia also directly referenced an inside detail from the tournament in Qatar, with the "wolf" gesture a nod to a game that Three Lions played during downtime between training and matches. Team captain Harry Kane has previously explained that some 16 to 17 players took part in the game in the last World Cup as a way to "pass the time".

After the Real Madrid youngster struck what proved to be the only goal of the game in England's Group C opener, he could not resist gesturing towards Alexander-Arnold. Explaining the thought behind the celebration which he performed with the Liverpool hero, Bellingham said: "The celebration was from a game we play called ‘Wolf’ and one of the staff always holds his face like that when he doesn’t know what’s going on.

Jude Bellingham celebrates scoring his team's first goal with teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold during the game between Serbia and England
Jude Bellingham celebrates scoring his team's first goal with teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold during the game between Serbia and England -Credit:Getty

"So it was more a celebration for the backroom staff who put in so much work every day and they won’t receive any awards like this [his man-of-the-match trophy] or get to have the moments we get to have on the pitch, but we value them so much and it’s important going through the tournament that we keep that atmosphere."

The pair eventually played 69 minutes together in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday evening en route to a 1-0 victory as Alexander-Arnold was replaced by Conor Gallagher in midfield. Likewise, Bellingham was also hooked by Gareth Southgate after 86 minutes, with Kobbie Mainoo called on to help see out the win.

After the duo were subbed off they were spotted sitting next to each other as they watched from the sidelines as the clock ticked down. Deployed in an unfamiliar role for the clash, the Reds star impressed his teammate Bellingham, who waxed lyrical about his countryman following the win.

Jude Bellingham could not resist celebrating alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold as he grabbed the opener in England's first Euros match
Jude Bellingham could not resist celebrating alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold as he grabbed the opener in England's first Euros match -Credit:Getty

Speaking to ITV Sport, the Real Madrid superstar said: "He makes it so easy for me because he can control the game so well defensively in that position. I know people talk a lot of rubbish but he's so aggressive with that back-to-goal pressure and it really helped me as well because it meant I got a breather when he went out.

"I think we understand each other well with the ball, he wants to play positive all the time, he wants to play forward all the time. We accept as team-mates who have that kind of quality that we are going to lose the ball and that's fine. We will win it back for each other and we will keep playing. I thought he was brilliant."

Likewise, Alexander-Arnold returned the compliment adding: "It's physically demanding but when you're playing with the likes of Declan [Rice], Jude and the others in and around you with an experienced back four behind you, it helps With Declan and Jude talking to you and guiding you through it, it's hard to go wrong."

With Bellingham's reputation having reached stratospheric levels after a sublime first season in Madrid, which saw him lift the European Cup, England will be hoping he continues his sterling form while starring at Euro 2023. However, as Alexander-Arnold continues relish lining up alongside the midfielder on international duty, Kopites will be forgiven for what might have been had the 20-year-old decided to move to Anfield last summer.