Real Madrid Transfers: Ranking the 5 best U23 targets for 2022

Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Dortmund, Jude Bellingham
Dortmund, Jude Bellingham (Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer/GES-Sportfoto via Getty Images) /

2. Borussia Dortmund CM Jude Bellingham

If you want to talk about mentality monsters and players meant for Real Madrid, you have to start talking more about Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham. This is a guy who was so respected at Birmingham as a 16-year-old that his jersey number was already retired. Bellingham was earmarked for greatness from the moment he joined Dortmund, and he was a first-year success in the Bundesliga before truly breaking out into one of the league’s top midfielders in 2021-22.

Look no further than his recent performance in a 2-2 draw with Rangers. Yes, Bellingham’s Dortmund were knocked out, but he was the reason why they even tied. Dortmund turned in another pathetic performance, but Bellingham would not be embarrassed. He raised the standard, scoring and creating a goal in a brilliant individual performance in which he was the one bright spot on a team filled with embarrassing displays.

Bellingham is a winner. He is determined to succeed as an individual and as part of a collective. This is a man who makes no excuses, accepts nothing less than the best, and excels in every phase of the game. You will not find a harder-working midfielder in the Bundesliga, nor will you find one better at carrying the ball with him.

Capable of scoring, assisting, and embarrassing defenders with his footwork, Bellingham has three goals, six assists, two dribbles completed per game, and 2.8 fouls drawn per game in the Bundesliga. And in the Champions League, he averaged 3.2 dribbles per game and 2.8 fouls drawn per game before his club were knocked out of the group stages. Incredible numbers.

Like Florian Wirtz, Bellingham is an 18-year-old who is already playing at a world-class level in the Bundesliga. But unlike Wirtz, he is more of a true midfielder than a playmaker and can already contribute significantly to the defense.

Real Madrid already have Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga, so fitting Bellingham could be tough. And Dortmund will surely ask a fortune for Bellingham, who will be one of the most desirable players in the world as a supremely gifted England international.

However, he is just that damn good. Real Madrid have to be attentive to his availability and progress, because he is THE top talent in midfield.