Number one for top talent: how BVB outperforms the competition
With Jude Bellingham, BVB once again stands out from the international competition in the race for top talent. He is not the first youngster with enormous potential. What is it about black and yellow that attracts the young players? And what makes BVB better than its competitors? An analysis.
Midfield talent Jude Bellingham, is moving from the English second division club Birmingham City to BVB. On Thursday he flew to Dortmund, completed the medical check and signed a three-year contract.
According to information from Sky UK, the transfer fee is at least 26.5 million euros. This makes the young Englishman the most expensive 17-year-old in soccer history. KPMG puts his current market value at just under twelve million euros.
But what makes the teenager so special? “He is a very special guy. And he is already a type at 17. All the scouts and especially the BVB scouts have recognized this,” says Sky reporter Jesco von Eichmann. “He already has an incredible presence in midfield, not to mention his soccer skills, which are outstanding.”
Bellingham can be used flexibly in central, left and right midfield. He’s considered very mature and down-to-earth. “He’s not one of those up-and-coming young stars, but someone who can put all the hype about himself in perspective,” says von Eichmann.
Not United, not Bavaria: Bellingham switches to BVB
Half of Europe was hunting him. Both Manchester United and FC Bayern were keen on Bellingham, but BVB made the race. The Borussians’ recipe for success for young talent? Perspective, playing practice, development.
“The Dortmund team not only pours money into the young players, they also show them a perspective. This is more important to young players today than the half or million more they could get at a larger club,” explains von Eichmann.
A further advantage of the Dortmund players: early scouting, early contact. Dortmund’s head scout Markus Pilawa and his team had started observing Bellingham in Birmingham a good three years ago. BVB regularly contacted the young Englishman and actively tried to “make him a small BVB supporter”, as one source opposite the sports portal The Athletic put it.
Prominent predecessors for Bellingham
Whether it’s Erling Haaland, Achraf Hakimi, Ousmane Dembele, Christian Pulisic or Giovanni Reyna – Bellingham has prominent predecessors who have developed very well at BVB.
The best role model for Bellingham: fellow countryman Jadon Sancho. Dortmund’s sports director Michael Zorc brought the winger from Manchester City to Dortmund at the age of 17. Sancho quickly rose to the top of his game and became one of the most sought-after young stars on the transfer market.
Over the past three years, he has thus developed in the way that the BVB bosses hope Bellingham will.
In addition, the bosses are trying to get young talents interested in BVB. For example, they invite them to home games or send them mood videos from Signal Iduna Park.
And attending a home game of the Dortmund team – with a normally sold-out house with 81,000 spectators and the “Yellow Wall” – impresses the youngsters.
BVB’s appeal too strong for the competition
“And if you tell the boy: ‘Score a goal here and stand in front of the yellow wall – you won’t get that feeling anywhere else.’ It works,” says Eichmann.
But it is not only the overall package of perspective, regular playing practice, trust of the bosses, development and emotionality that convinces the young talents all along the line. The appeal of Borussia Dortmund is also too strong for the competition: Champions League guaranteed and a club dedicated to promoting young talent.