Jens Lehmann believes Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham ‘could become a Patrick Vieira’, claiming ‘there are no limits for him’… and how ‘beast’ Erling Haaland has taken the hype away from Jadon Sancho
- Jude Bellingham has hit the ground running since joining Borussia Dortmund
- The 17-year-old certainly hasn’t looked fazed in the heart of Dortmund’s midfield
- Bellingham’s fine form was awarded as he made his England debut last month
- Former Dortmund goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has high hopes for Bellingham
Former Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Jens Lehmann believes Jude Bellingham can go right to the very top after his fine start to life in Germany, while comparing him to his former Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira.
The 17-year-old wonderkid joined Dortmund in the summer for a hefty £25million from boyhood club Birmingham City, and he certainly hasn’t looked back starring in the heart of midfield for the Bundesliga giants.
It has been a whirlwind year for Bellingham, whose impressive performances at the Westfalenstadion also saw him receive his first England cap against the Republic of Ireland last month.
Teenager Jude Bellingham has hit the ground running since joining Borussia Dortmund
Jens Lehmann says Bellingham could become a Patrick Vieira type player if his rise continues
And Lehmann certainly didn’t hold back in his praise of the combative midfielder, who has made 16 appearances for Dortmund this season – including six in the Champions League.
‘He could become a Patrick Vieira’, the former Germany and Arsenal shot-stopper told Sportsmail of Bellingham, who possesses great strength, vision and technique.
‘I like him a lot, he is very young but he takes people on. Physically he is very strong, he wins a lot of 1 on 1s. People don’t see that that much but I looked at his statistics, he is impressive.
‘He is another great purchase by Borussia. And if you look at all of their young players, I think their team value is amazing right now, with Jadon Sancho and Bellingham from England.’
Bellingham, who is already a regular fixture at Dortmund, became the youngest player since data collection began in 2004 to provide an assist in the Bundesliga at the age of 17 years and 82 days on the opening day of the season against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Lehmann insists ‘there are no limits’ for Bellingham if he can keep his feet on the ground
He is just the latest young star to shine through at Dortmund, and Lehmann believes the sky is the limit for him if he keeps grounded.
Lehmann added: ‘There are no limits for players like him. It depends on his mind, if he is too spoilt and so on.
‘It is always the same, if you have a great player then most of them are great because they are great in their minds.’
Bellingham’s compatriot Jadon Sancho enjoyed a stunning introduction to life at Dortmund too, emerging as one of the most exciting players in Europe.
The England international’s scintillating form over the last couple of seasons led to Manchester United being in hot pursuit of him in the summer, but Dortmund held firm over the £108m valuation of their winger.
The ex-Dortmund keeper claims Erling Haaland has taken the hype away from Jadon Sancho
But since the summer transfer saga, Sancho has struggled to hit the same heights – failing to score in eight Bundesliga appearances so far this season.
Lehmann can’t put his finger on why exactly Sancho’s form has dipped, but he does believe the incredible emergence of Erling Haaland has taken the limelight away from the 20-year-old.
When quizzed on whether the United saga has affected Sancho’s performance levels, Lehmann replied: ‘I don’t know if that’s true. I only know that the hype has come down a little because now Haaland is playing for Borussia.
‘And he is a beast I can tell you, he is fantastic. Unfortunately he is injured right now, but when he plays he is like a train, he goes forward very fast. He took on the hype of Sancho.’
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