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Jude Bellingham: “Jadon Sancho is really important for me.”

Speaking exclusively to Kicker, 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham discussed his decision to join the Bundesliga club, playing alongside Jadon Sancho and BVB’s squad balance.

It’s understandable that when things are going well, we young players are in the spotlight,” said Bellingham. “But I think that’s unfair. Dortmund has more to offer. I think we have a very good balance between experience on one hand and young players on the other.

“Players like [Marco] Reus, [Mats] Hummels, [Emre] Can or [Axel] Witsel are incredibly important for the team. They have our backs so that we can play the way we play.”

Bellingham had interest from several clubs but the prospect of playing for Borussia Dortmund is one that interested the England U21 international: “The club itself is incredibly attractive – its size and importance, its stadium, fans, success and its ambitions. Borussia has a lot of plans and it feels great to be able to help out.”

The youngster has struck an important relationship with Jadon Sancho, who joined the Bundesliga side as a 17-year-old is 2017: “Sancho is really important for me,” said Bellingham.

“Not only because he comes from the same country as me or because he speaks the same language. What’s more important is how he puts his arm around me but also around the other young players, how he encourages us in our abilities, how he gives us confidence.

“He is a great role model for English players of my age,” added Bellingham. “To receive praise and encouragement from him means an awful lot to me. It helps me a lot.”

The former Birmingham City midfielder was also questioned about his future: “I don’t think about that at all right now,” said Bellingham. “It feels great to play for Borussia. I don’t have a career plan or anything like that in mind, I live in the moment and take each day as it comes. Today I’m concentrating on training, on Wednesday the game against Zenit. I don’t think beyond that.”

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