Birmingham City wonderkid Jude Bellingham has been advised by Jermaine Pennant against sealing a transfer to Manchester United at this early stage in his career.
The talented 16-year-old is really catching the eye in the Championship this season, and it seems inevitable that big clubs are going to queue up for him in the near future.
In fact, Bellingham has already been strongly linked with Man Utd by the Sun and others, so it could be that he’ll soon have a big decision to make over his future.
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It remains to be seen what the teenager will decide, but Pennant could be a worthwhile voice to pay attention to right now as he also made headlines at a similar age with a big move to Arsenal.
Things didn’t really work out for Pennant with the Gunners, though he had a decent career in the Premier League, including a spell at Liverpool in which he got to play in a Champions League final.
Discussing Bellingham, Pennant urged him to stay where is and develop by playing regular football in a good league, rather than moving to United and most likely seeing a lot less action at senior level.
“Now he’s a regular at Birmingham in the Championship. This is good football, it’s a very difficult league. It’s more demanding than the Premier League and he’s 16 and holding his weight. He’s putting in tackles, he’s strong,” Pennant told talkSPORT.
“When I saw him, I thought there’s no way he is 16, what has he been taking, can I have some of that?!
“He’s diving in, he’s putting his foot in and he’s not scared. He’s got skill as well, he’s got the ability. He’s two footed, he’s scoring goals and creating goals – he’s a fantastic talent.
“He’s a tall player now, so he’s only going to get bigger, he’s going to get wiser, stronger, and quicker. I’m surprised other teams are not looking at him as well.
“But my advice to him would be to stay at Birmingham for another season, or at least for the rest of this season. Continue playing, keep playing first-team football, demanding football and it will do wonders for his career moving forward.
“Rather than moving to Man United and hitting a brick wall, going from playing every week to just floating about training and wondering when he’s going to play.”