Jude Bellingham is better than Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes and Keane were at his age, says Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand

    JUDE BELLINGHAM is a level above Premier League legends Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane when they were his age, Rio Ferdinand has claimed.

    The 19-year-old has continued to impress this season, becoming Borussia Dortmund‘s main man following the exit of Erling Haaland to Manchester City.

    Bellingham captained Dortmund in the Champions League

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    Bellingham captained Dortmund in the Champions LeagueCredit: Rex
    Ferdinand says Bellingham is ahead of a number of football legends when they were his age

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    Ferdinand says Bellingham is ahead of a number of football legends when they were his ageCredit: Reuters

    Bellingham has also taken up a leadership role at the Signal Iduna Park.

    The England international has captained Dortmund in their last two games against Koln and Sevilla.

    He is the third-youngest player to captain a side in the Champions League behind Ruben Neves and Matthijs de Ligt.

    Such achievements has seen England and Manchester United legend Ferdinand hail Bellingham above some of football’s greatest midfielders when they were his age.

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    After Bellingham got on the scoresheet in the 4-1 victory over Sevilla, Ferdinand said on BT Sport: “What he’s doing in his position at his age, we haven’t seen.

    “The best of our generation, Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes, them guys…Vieira, Roy Keane, they weren’t doing this.

    “He still has to go on and prove it over a long period of time but they were not doing what he is doing right now, influencing games at this level, captaining a team at this level, he is the full package.

    “Mentally, this kid’s a beast, no doubts about him.”

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    It’s not just legends of football purring over Bellingham.

    The midfielder is a constant talking point among players, with England team-mate Declan Rice labelling him the future of English football.

    Rice said: “He’s 19 but he’s got the body of a 28-year-old — he’s a man!

    “He thinks like a man, plays like a man and shows personality and character.

    “He’s the future of English football for the next 15 years if he wants to be.

    “He is top lad as well — he really pushes you on the pitch. We push each other on and it’s a privilege to play next to him. I’m still only 23!

    “I’ve been around and played so many more games than he has but you can just tell as a 19-year-old what he brings to the team already, the energy he’s got. 

    “Jude can play in a holding role, he can play as an eight, he can play as a No10.

    “He can play anywhere in midfield and I know he’s going to be crucial for us. Every time I play with Jude we’re building that connection. 

    “Hopefully he keeps flourishing. I say to him, ‘You go and bomb on and attack and I’ll sit here and defend for you!’

    “He’s a young man with an old head, really. All the lads love him.

    “I don’t think I’ve seen anyone as good as he is for 19. He’s got the whole package.”

    One of the teams hoping to secure the long-term future of Bellingham is Real Madrid.

    Bellingham is said to be a priority signing for the summer 2023 transfer window.

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    The Englishman could form a long-term midfield three alongside fellow 19-year-old Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni.

    Bellingham is also being tracked by most of England’s top clubs but reports suggest it could take a fee north of £100million to sign him.

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