Borussia Dortmund’s head of first-team football Sebastian Kehl has praised Jude Bellingham’s impact on the squad, insisting the teenager “is bursting with confidence”.
Dortmund snapped Bellingham up from Birmingham City for an initial £25 million (€28m/$33m) fee in July, having seen him enjoy a breakout 2019-20 season at St. Andrew’s.
The transfer saw the midfielder become the most expensive teenager in the history of the game, and he is now aiming to follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho, who has established himself as one of the finest English exports of the modern era since moving to Westfalenstadion from Manchester City in 2017.
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Bellingham has already shown flashes of his ability during BVB’s pre-season training camp in Switzerland, featuring in three of the club’s four friendly fixtures in August.
The 17-year-old scored his first goal for the club in an 11-2 victory over Austria Vienna, and Kehl has been impressed by what he has seen from the former Birmingham starlet.
“Jude has integrated very well. He is bursting with confidence,” the Dortmund coach told BVB-TV. “He brings us so much aggressiveness and physicality in the midfield, which is very, very good for us. Jude has really attracted attention, despite only being 17 years of age.”
Another young player being tipped to star for Dortmund next season is Reiner, who joined the club on loan from Real Madrid on August 19.
The Brazilian is still recovering from a muscle injury he picked up at Santiago Bernabeu earlier this summer, and Kehl says he will need time to adjust to his new surroundings.
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“He’s only been with us for a few days, he has to catch up a bit after his injury,” he said of Reinier.
Kehl added on Dortmund’s pre-season preparations amid the congested post-coronavirus lockdown schedule: “It was clear that the internationals would result in a small break. We have laid a solid foundation with the training camp in Switzerland. It was also important that we had all the players with us from the start.
“[During lockdown] the boys grew closer together – that’s good for all of us. That took us a step towards each other. Now, of course, we need good results.”
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