JUDE BELLINGHAM’s physique means he can hardly be called a reflection of Bryan Robson.
But height aside, Robson agrees with his old England team-mate Gary Lineker on every other aspect of Borussia Dortmund’s rising star.
Match of the day host Lineker was dazzled by Bellingham’s performance as he scored the opener for the Germans in last week’s Champions League game at Manchester City.
He tweeted about the 6ft 1in midfielder: “I would be very surprised if Bellingham didn’t play a big part in England’s World Cup campaign. Has a bit of Bryan Robson about it.”
And that hits the spot, according to Robson, the former skipper of the Three Lions who is still known as Captain Marvel.
Robson was four inches shorter than Bellingham but says so much else about the 19-year-old is similar.
And like Lineker, he believes the starlet sought after by Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea can have a paramount impact on England’s World Cup campaign.
Robson told SunSport: “I definitely think he could have a little bit of me in him. It’s all very good to fly forward and try to score, but it’s also about protecting your back four.
“It was something I always believed you had to do as a midfielder.
“I watched him closely when he played against City and you could see how far he’s come since we thought we’d landed him at Manchester United a couple of years ago.
“He’s got fantastic anticipation – as we saw from the way he shot into the box to tuck his header away. But he also wins many battles.
“A lot of people think he’s more or less an attacking midfielder, but he can do the other side too.
“He’s a good size. He’s quite fast and in fact he has a bit of everything.
“Obviously what he needs to do is keep his feet on the ground and work hard to be the best he can be.
“But you can see why he’s become such a big target in the market because he’s such a huge talent.
“And if he continues to play like he did against City, he will be a huge part of England’s World Cup bid.”
OPPORTUNITY FOR JEW
Injured midfielders Kalvin Phillips (shoulder) and Jordan Henderson (thigh) will miss Friday’s Nations League games in Italy and Monday’s home game against Germany.
That gives Bellingham a chance to assert himself as England’s next game is the World Cup opener in Qatar on 21 November against Iran.
Robson added: “Declan Rice is a given as an England midfielder – he’s so solid and reliable.
“Depending on how Gareth Southgate wants to play, Bellingham could have a role alongside him.
“What is certain is that Gareth Bellingham has been on his radar for a while – he started playing him when he was 17.
“Now he has 15 caps and we have the two games against Italy and Germany ahead of us.
We (Man Utd) thought we more or less had him (Bellingham)
“It would be natural to think that Gareth will keep that progress going into the finals.”
Robson had hoped the Stourbridge-born police officer’s son would be patrolling Old Trafford center field by now.
He was part of a welcoming committee of United legends that also included Sir Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona when Bellingham was invited to talks about his future in Birmingham as a 16-year-old.
But a few months later, in July 2020, he opted for Dortmund instead, joining the Bundesliga side for an initial fee of £25million.
United ambassador Robbo, now 65, added: “Unfortunately, he has chosen for us to join Germany. We thought we more or less had him.
“Myself, Sir Alex and Eric Cantona all met him with his mum and dad in Carrington and after that meeting we thought he would join us.
“Now there’s talk of him moving next summer and there’s a lot of mention of Liverpool.
“We thought we had him and he would have been a great signing for us. But he definitely has what it takes to be a great player for England.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6256826/man-utd-jude-bellingham-transfer-borussia-dortmund-bryan-robson/ Man Utd legend Bryan Robson regrets club’s failure to sign Jude Bellingham and agrees to stunning comparisons