Steven Gerrard added fuel to the Liverpool move rumors of Jude Bellingham by telling the midfielder that his development far outstripped his own progress at the same age.
Bellingham impressed again when England beat Ukraine 2-0 in Sunday’s Euro 2024 qualifier and joined Gerrard on the Wembley Stadium touchline in regular time.
The former Reds captain, speaking as a pundit on Channel 4, praised the Borussia Dortmund midfielder who is reportedly a target for Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City.
“You’ve come a lot further than when I was your age, so you’re on the right track, that’s for sure,” Gerrard told Bellingham.
When asked about how further developed Bellingham is than ex-Liverpool and England star Gerrard, he added: “I never had such power and strength until I was 22 or 23 years old.
“So he’s definitely more physically fit than me. He is more confident than I am about what he will do. And I’m not saying that just out of modesty, it’s true, I think he’s further than I was at 19.
“I got to what I wanted, and he will get to what he wants if he continues to do what he does.
“He’s in a fantastic location. Everything else around him, he just needs to park and keep playing well, and everything else will take care of itself.”
Perfect week. pic.twitter.com/rdy9xmmTvx
— Jude Bellingham (@BellinghamJude) March 26, 2023
It wasn’t the first time Gerrard had praised the teenage star, suggesting they take Bellingham out to dinner in January and talk about his future, suggesting a move to England and Liverpool would be good for his career.
Bellingham quickly returned the favor, praising Gerrard’s influence as Liverpool captain throughout his playing career.
He said, “Things that Stevie could do, how he could lead a team and single-handedly win a game. He could do everything as a midfielder.
“I have repeatedly said that I respect you and your game.”
While the transfer window awaits the signing of one of Europe’s hottest prospects, Bellingham continues to enjoy learning while playing for England.
The former Birmingham City midfielder has already captained Borussia Dortmund this season and while he understands it will take patience, he said taking his country out of the game would be the greatest honor in football.
“It would be the biggest dream and the biggest honor in football, I think, to be the captain of your country,” he continued.
“There is a long hierarchy that I have a lot of respect for and I will wait my turn. At the same time, he collects what I can learn from them. This is the best place for it.
“We have to strive to win every game. You set standards and expectations for yourself, and it is important that you live up to them. We must continue this until the end of the qualifying campaign.”