Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine, former Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham revealed why he turned down a move to Manchester United in favour of Borussia Dortmund.
Bellingham played just one full season in the Birmingham City first-team but his commanding midfield presence made him a target for Europe’s biggest clubs.
He had been a part of the Blues’ academy setup since 2010 when he was seven-years-old. Bellingham made his debut in August 2019, becoming the club’s youngest ever player in the process at the age of 16 years and 38 days.
The youngster played 41 times across the Championship campaign, scoring four goals and registering three assists.
The following summer meant Bellingham was the subject of a transfer battle between Premier League giants Manchester United and Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.
In the interview the 17-year-old revealed exactly why he chose to move to Germany as opposed to making the jump up into the top flight with the Red Devils.
“United have a fantastic squad, but I was so focused and so happy with the interest from Dortmund that this became my first choice,” he said.
“It was never a case of this club over this club. For me, it was always Borussia Dortmund, and that’s it.
Bellingham may have hoped to mirror the career of fellow Englishman Jadon Sancho. The winger had left his native England with Manchester City for pastures new, joining Borussia Dortmund in a £8 million deal back in 2017.
Sancho was given an immediate opportunity in the first-team at the Signal Iduna Park and has not looked back since. Bellingham stated his main reason for signing was being given playing time, whilst still plying his trade at the highest level possible.
“The only thing I was bothered about while making my decision was playing football, and this was the best place to do that.
“It’s as clear as day that if you come here and do the right things, you’re going to get your opportunity.”
Since arriving in the summer he has made 35 appearances in all competitions for Die Schwarzgelben, scoring once and assisting four. He has also been called up to the England senior squad and has made two appearances so far.