Former Aston Villa man Lee Hendrie has heaped praise on Birmingham City’s Jude Bellingham and revealed he had been looking forward to seeing what sort of impact the teenager would make in the professional game.
The 16-year-old has established himself as one of the most exciting youngsters in football after his performances for Blues this season, with Borussia Dortmund the latest top club to be linked with the midfielder.
And, speaking exclusively to Football League World Chief Editor Sam Rourke, Hendrie admitted he had heard the hype surrounding Bellingham in and around the city and believes it’s fully justified.
“I know his Dad really well, there’s been lots of talk about him for quite some time down here in the Midlands. So, we’ve just been waiting to see what he’s all about and wow. He does have the wow factor for me.
“I just look at him, he’s got an old head on a young body. He just seems like he’s experienced. I saw him in a cup game at Portsmouth, he’s neat and tidy, composed on the ball.
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“He had the opportunity to move on from Birmingham and I think it was a great choice in staying. I don’t know whether there was something in that talk that if he stayed he had to play games but everyone felt he was ready to go into the first-team and I think it’s worked wonders for him.”
Bellingham was rested for the midweek FA Cup defeat against Leicester City after what has been a hectic schedule during the campaign but he will be involved as Blues face Reading at St. Andrew’s.