Arsenal ‘admire’ Jude Bellingham but don’t have ‘finances’ to agree deal
Arsenal signed Jorginho from Chelsea to bolster their midfield in January, but the Gunners may still be looking to strengthen over the summer, if a report from Mario Cortegana and David Ornstein is to be believed.
The Athletic say Arsenal are ‘admirers’ of Jude Bellingham but are resigned to lose out on the £132m-rated Borussia Dortmund midfielder as they don’t have ‘the finances’ to complete a deal. The Gunners’ most-expensive transfer is £72m for Nicolas Pepe in 2019, so they’d have to double their record to sign the 19-year-old.
After Mattéo Guendouzi went to Olympique Marseille in July, Lucas Torreira was sold to Galatasaray in August and Sambi Lokonga was loaned out to Crystal Palace in January, Mikel Arteta lost three central midfielders in the last two transfer windows, replacing just one of them.
Bellingham joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020 and has gone on to make 119 appearances in all competitions, scoring 20 goals with 24 assists. The England international is a regular in Germany and is regarded as one of the best young players in Europe, so it’s easy to see why Arsenal would be keen.
The 19-year-old, who has scored four goals with four assists from 20 Bundesliga games this season, would be fifth in the Arsenal squad for goals and fifth for assists. He would be first for tackles per game (2.8), first for interceptions per game (1.3) and first for successful dribbles per game (2.4).
Arteta still has Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka at his disposal, but Elneny has been short of playing time due to injury this season, meaning Arsenal have relied heavily on Partey and Xhaka staying fit.
The Gunners recognised the need for a quality alternative and brought in Jorginho. He will turn 32 in December and isn’t a long-term option, however, so another midfielder may be required.
Bellingham is 12 years Jorginho’s junior and a much better player, so the admiration from Arsenal makes sense. It’s just not in the club’s nature to spend the entire summer budget on one signing.
He’d be perfect for Arsenal as he’s adept at turning over possession, can carry the ball from deep, is dominant in the air and has a great eye for goal, but the North Londoners can’t compete with Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester City.
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