Sunderland have been linked with Birmingham City starlet Jobe Bellingham recently and the teenage midfielder could form a superb partnership with Dan Neil in Tony Mowbray’s side.
According to TEAMtalk, the Black Cats, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough are all set to be embroiled in a northeastern battle to sign the 17-year-old starlet, who has followed in the footsteps of his brother Jude, by establishing himself in Birmingham’s first team at a young age.
Despite only turning 17 a few months ago, the midfielder already boasts 16 senior appearances for the Blues, including 12 in the Championship so far this campaign.
While nobody is expecting Bellingham to progress at the same exceedingly quick rate that his brother has, with the Borussia Dortmund star likely to command a huge fee in 2023 after impressing in the Bundesliga and Champions League for the German giants, he still looks to possess a lot of potential.
Former manager Lee Bowyer suggested earlier this year that the 17-year-old’s debut had come about due to hard work and application, rather than because of his brother.
He said: “He’s earned that, he’s been training with us for two, three, four weeks now, you can just see him growing and improving every day.”
If Sunderland can bring him to the Stadium of Light and he can live up to his potential, then he could easily feature in the Black Cats’ midfield for another 10 years and he could star alongside Sunderland’s own wonderkid, Dan Neil.
The 21-year-old was a mainstay in Sunderland’s side last season as they earned promotion back to the Championship via the playoffs, making 78 appearances, in which he has impressively contributed five goals and 10 assists.
He has continued as a regular so far this campaign, making 23 appearances in the second tier, and it seems as if he is set for a big future, which Mackems will be hoping he can deliver at the Stadium of Light rather than elsewhere.
The prospect of having two exciting young talents playing alongside each other in Sunderland’s side will surely excite fans, so the Black Cats should definitely take a gamble on Bellingham in January, as if all goes well, it could see the club unearth a midfield partnership that could easily last a decade.