Jordan Henderson (r.) has been watching Jude Bellingham (l.) play for Borussia Dortmund and believes he can become a top player. - © imago images
Jordan Henderson (r.) has been watching Jude Bellingham (l.) play for Borussia Dortmund and believes he can become a top player. - © imago images

"Jude Bellingham is miles ahead of where I was at 18" - Jordan Henderson


England midfielder Jordan Henderson believes Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham has "all the attributes to be a top player" and is "miles ahead" of where the Liverpool captain was at the same age.

Bellingham shined in his first competitive start for England with Henderson alongside him in midfield on Sunday, as the Three Lions ran out 4-0 winners over Andorra in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Having already become the youngest player for England at a major tournament following his appearances in the run to the final of UEFA Euro 2020 and while starring for Dortmund in the Bundesliga as a regular starter under new head coach Marco Rose at the start of 2021/22, Henderson believes Bellingham can go right to the top.

"He's a fantastic player," said Henderson. "Even at such a young age he shows fantastic maturity on and off the field. You can see how hungry he is to be a top player and has all the attributes to do that.

"I was trying to help as much as I could but to be honest he is a top player who has shown that in the big games for Dortmund. I see him going from strength to strength all the time.

"Even at such a young age he looks ready to play in the big games. I watch him for Dortmund and the way he performs is outstanding. He showed again what he can bring. A year down the line he is only going to get better so he could have a big influence."

Watch: Prodigious Prospect: Jude Bellingham

It's just the next milestone in Bellingham's rapidly blossoming career. The former Birmingham City midfielder has already made over 50 appearances for Dortmund, is one of two players - alongside Youri Tielemans - to have reached double figures for appearances in the UEFA Champions League before turning 18, and also became the greenest Englishman and Germany-based player to find the net in the competition.

This season, Bellingham has continued to establish himself as a first-team regular at the Signal Iduna Park, starting each of Die Schwarzgelben's three Bundesliga games so far this season under Rose, and scoring his second goal in the German top-flight on Matchday 3 against Hoffenheim.

All that while only turning 18 in June of this year, the same age that Henderson was playing for Coventry City in England’s second-tier while on loan from Sunderland.

Jude Bellingham has been pitting himself against some of the best players in the world while at Borussia Dortmund, and often come out on top. - DFL

"He is miles ahead of me when I was that age," said Henderson. "But for me I'd say for him to just keep doing what he's doing. Keep working hard every day in training, stay focused on what you want to achieve.

"He's already got that and good people around him. Just keep your feet on the ground and concentrate on football. If he does that and stays fit he'll be a top player. He already is a top player but he'll go from strength to strength in the next years."

Bellingham will hope to play a role in England's final qualifier of this international break against Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski's Poland, before returning to Bundesliga action this Saturday against Bayer Leverkusen.