‘Man Utd must accept loan in any deal with Bellingham’ – 16-year-old won’t get the games he needs, says Francis
The Birmingham legend can understand why Premier League heavyweights love the youngster, but wants to see him again at St Andrew’s
Manchester United must include a loan repayment to Birmingham in any deal for Jude Bellingham, says Blues legend Trevor Francis, the 16-year-old needing regular playing time at this point in his career.
It has been suggested that the Red Devils look to buy the obvious potential of the midfielder when the following transfer window opens. They are not the only ones following the development of Bellingham, with Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea also in the mix, but would be leading the race.
Francis isn’t surprised to see interest growing in the hot prospect, with it likely he will soon be snuffed away from St Andrew’s by a European heavyweight.
The ex-Birmingham striker, however, is keen to see those with a long-term view on recruiting agree to let go a talented youngster continued to developt in the West Midlands, rather than getting stuck on the bench or back in the youth ranks.
Former England international Francis told the Birmingham courier: “Wherever Jude Bellingham goes I think he should have written in the contract that he immediately returns to Birmingham City to play as a loan player because he needs to improve and the only way to improve is is to play regularly.
“To go to Manchester United or Chelsea or whatever, as far as the boy is concerned, he won’t be a first-team regular and he has to play regular first-team football to improve as a footballer . “
Francis, who became Britain’s first £ 1million footballer when he left Birmingham for Nottingham Forest in 1979, expects Bellingham to follow his lead and rise to the top.
The former Blues player and coach added, echoing one of his legendary former bosses: “I think he’s a very talented young man; I sound like Brian Clough saying that, right?
“For his age, he showed a lot of maturity when I watched him. I think he has great individual talent.
“I’m not sure exactly what his best position is at the moment, but I think his manager would probably say the exact same thing, but he’s just a natural footballer who I think is capable of playing in any type of post. “
Bellingham has broken through as an all-action midfielder, with his early displays showing he’s ready to get stuck while providing a useful goal threat from a deep role.