Jude Bellingham has revealed that there was ‘no better place to have been’ than Birmingham City during his time at the club.
The 17-year-old came through the youth set-up at St Andrews before completing a big-money move to Borussia Dortmund last summer – a deal that made him the most expensive 17-year-old in history.
Since then Bellingham’s career has gone from strength to strength after becoming a key player for the German side as they compete in the Bundesliga and the Champions League, while also emerging as a regular feature in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Bellingham conducted an interview while with England this week and couldn’t hide his appreciation at how big a role his boyhood club played in his rise to stardom.
Speaking on official England YouTube channel, Bellingham said: “What a place, what a city, what a club. There’s no better place to have been last year than Birmingham City.
“Coming through the ranks there and learning everything that I’ve learnt with the coaches and all the players that I’ve been with and then coming to the first team you’re one of their own and you’re like a fan’s favourite.
“You kind of carry the expectations of the city, especially the blue half, on your back a little bit and obviously I loved every second of it.
“Just going out there and representing myself, but also representing the fans because at the end of the day I’m one of the lucky ones that has been a fan all the way through at the academy and then got to play in the first team.
“I’m very grateful to have done myself and my people proud at the club.”
He added: “After our (Birmingham) games, it’s always the first score I check all the time and I’m always watching the games when I can.
“It means so much to me that club.”
The big Birmingham City quiz: Can you get 20/20?
It’s so nice to hear Jude Bellingham speak so fondly of Birmingham City.
Given his rise to stardom you’d expect that he could potentially forget about his former club but there’s no doubt that the Blues still have a place in his heart.
Birmingham are struggling at the moment, and so to know that their former starlet is firmly behind them is massive.