Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre says he has been hugely impressed by new signing Jude Bellingham, and has intimated the 17-year-old midfielder could have a big role to play in the first team in 2020/21.
Bellingham joined Dortmund in the summer on the back of a breakout campaign in the English Championship with Birmingham City, in which he registered four goals and two assists in 31 appearances.
The young Englishman has enjoyed regular minutes throughout pre-season - contributing goals in friendly wins over SC Rheindorf Altach and Austria Vienna - and is expected to feature in BVB's first competitive fixture of 2020/21 against Duisburg in the opening round of the DFB Cup on Monday.
"During pre-season, I've got to know Jude better," Favre told the Swiss Telegraphic Agency.
"I like the way he handles the ball, how he defends it. He gives us a number of tactical possibilities and has a fantastic presence.
"He can play as a number six or number eight, is a good passer and tries to put himself in scoring positions. He has the technical skills and a feel for space. That's why it's easy for me to work with such a talent.
"With someone like him, I don't look at the date of birth."
Watch: Jude Bellingham and Dortmund's next wave of young talent
The age-is-just-a-number mantra that Favre shares with Dortmund is big part of the reason why Bellingham chose the Black-Yellows over other heavyweight European admirers, with Erling Haaland, Gio Reyna and Jadon Sancho three striking examples of the club's reputation as the go-to destination for youngsters.
"The direction they are heading in and how much they help young players improve made it an easy decision for me personally and my family," said Bellingham, who recently became the youngest player to ever turn out - and score - for the England U21s.
"I think, in life, you have to take opportunities, and this is a huge one for me to come and play for such a big club.
"It wasn't a hard [decision] for me to come here."