'Why shouldn't Jude Bellingham stay?' - Ex-England star Joe Cole and Dortmund legend Karl-Heinz Riedle back 'unbelievable' midfielder to shine anywhere

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Joe Cole said that it could be in Jude Bellingham's best interest to stay at Borussia Dortmund as clubs fight to sign the England star.

WHAT HAPPENED? Bellingham has been linked with just about every major club but, given his status at Dortmund, any move for him won't come cheap. Liverpool have already pulled out of the race to sign him this summer despite their long-term admiration, while the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea also unlikely to make a move due to their current financial and squad situations.

Speaking to GOAL after Chelsea and Dortmund announced plans for a friendly in Chicago this summer, Cole said Bellingham could always delay his decision by another year as he is in a good situation in Germany. Riedle was quick to praise the young midfielder, saying that he'll be a success wherever he ends up even if he, personally, hopes to see him at Dortmund for a long, long time.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "He's connected to everybody! He's a fantastic player," Riedle told GOAL. "He was growing up there in the second division and Dortmund had a really good eye to figure him out. His play is just unbelievable. He has everything that you need for a leader in your team. He's just 19! I don't know where his way is going, but, definitely, he will be a crucial player for the next 10 years somewhere or in Dortmund."

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AND WHAT'S MORE: Cole quickly chimed in saying he'd take Bellingham in his team, before admitting that he thinks it could be beneficial for Bellingham to stay where he is for the time being if he wants to wait out an offer from, say, Chelsea or Liverpool.

"He's got the keys to the city as they say," Cole began. "He can do what he wants because everyone wants him. He's such a mature voice. He's 19, but the maturity levels when he talks off the pitch, he talks with assertiveness. He's one of them players where you just know you can put him on a pitch and you're going to get a performance, so every manager in the world, all the top clubs, will want him. Personally, if there's not a club out there that he absolutely wants to go to, why not stay at Dortmund for another year? It's a great club. He's got an opportunity to win trophies there. I look at Sancho leaving and going to Manchester United and, sometimes when you're a footballer and you're playing somewhere and you're having fun and you're winning games and you're doing well, sometimes it's best to stay."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It appears that Real Madrid are set to finalise a move for Bellingham, with the Spanish giants set to beat Manchester City to the agreement. Bellingham is said to be intrigued by the allure of playing for the Champions League winners as well as the chance to play in a young midfield being built to replace Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the coming years.


Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund 2023

Jude Bellingham England 2022

WHAT NEXT FOR DORTMUND? With the Bundesliga title still very much up for grabs, Dortmund are set to face Wolfsburg this weekend. They enter the weekend second in the Bundesliga, one point behind Bayern Munich, who will face Werder Bremen.