Jude Bellingham is one of the brightest young prospects to have come out of Birmingham City’s youth academy in recent years, with the teenager having put in a host of eye catching showings for the Blues this term.
With four goals and two assists to his name since breaking through to the first team this season, Bellingham has unsurprisingly attracted attention from a host of big name clubs including Manchester United and Liverpool to name a few.
As it is with a lot of young players nowadays, the 16-year-old has been compared with legendary Blues players of the past, with one fan asking members of the Birmingham City Fan Zone Facebook group if the youngster is as good as club legend Trevor Francis was at the age of 16, prompting a wide array of responses from fans.
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Francis of course made his name at Birmingham before going on to enjoy a fruitful career with the likes of Sampdoria in Italy and Sheffield Wednesday back on home turf, winning a host of trophies along the way.
Here, we take a look at some of the best responses from supporters to the question via social media.
Martin King: I’m too young to have seen Trevor Francis but Jude is the best young player that I have seen and not just at Blues.
Steven Cale: Never saw Trevor play but they play different positions, so difficult to compare. Based on videos I’ve seen of Trevor I’d say they are very close in terms of technical ability on the ball. I do think he’ll be better long term though.
Bob Kilsby: He has great awareness of the game positionally and has the skill to go with the physical abilities he has, this young man will be a top top player in the next couple of years.
Shane Robert: The thing with Jude is, you forget he’s only 16. He’s played all across midfield this season and never looked out of his depth. He’s not a Gray or a Redmond in terms of pace and skill, his game is very different. But he plays like he’s 10 years older than he is. Can tackle, pass, drive the team forward etc. He’s different to what we’ve had before, but he’s certainly something special.
Tony Duff: Watched Francis loads of times. Its hard to compare them at the moment. It was a different era back then. Much harder players who would scythe you down without any hesitation. Plus he stayed for 10 years. Would love to see Bellingham stay for that long. But I doubt it.
Laurence Robert Mitchell: I get the same thrills watching as I did with a young Nathan Redmond or Demarai Gray. Just that willingness and confidence to run at players and have the skill to get past.
Mark Adams: In my opinion he’s not as good a Trevor Francis was.
Joe Baron: I wouldn’t compare him to Francis, to me he’s more of a Patrick Vieira type of player.
Tony Malin: Gardener said after the Bristol City game that he is the best young player he has ever seen and he must have seen a few.
Sohail Farraz Bob: Personally he reminds me Patrick Vieira at times and Xavi at others. Much better than Demarai Gray or Redmond were because of his reliability. They had moments in matches whereas Jude is always trying.
Adam Chivers: I loved Gray and Redmond but Jude is in a different class to them! Players like Jude do not come about very often… and in his younger brother it seems we might have lightning striking twice! If he can keep his head right and he will be one of the best in the world.
Wayne Merrix: Wait till you see his brother, he’s even better.
Paul Bailey: Jude will be another Bryan Robson but better. Francis was a one off and scored the winner in a European Cup Final. Stayed too long at the Blues.
Dermot Kiernan: Jude has some potential but there is only one Trevor Francis, and he is the best I’ve ever seen pulling on that Royal Blue Jersey!
Billy RE: The best young player since Francis but not as good in my opinion.
Eddie White: Definitely not.