The United Kingdom’s relationship with Europe could be at its most volatile stage in years, but in footballing terms, the relationship between Britain and the continent hasn’t been stronger.
From the ongoing influx of international players and coaches into the Premier League, to the ever-increasing number of young British stars plying their trade abroad, this could be regarded as a golden age for Anglo-European relations where football is concerned.
Germany’s Bundesliga stands outside the destination of choice for many of England’s hottest prospects and seems awash with potential gift this season.
It’s easy to see why one of Europe’s top clubs are following the young midfielder after his impressive displays for the Blues this year.
Only two midfielders in the branch have a better scoring speed relative to their amount of moments on the pitch — the Stourbridge-born kid has found the internet 0.79 times per 90 after playing for a total of just 228 moments up to now in 2019/20.
But he is not just a goalscorer and Bellingham’s performances have definitely caught the eye.
Among Bellingham’s key attributes is his ability to win the ball up the pitch, and he’s inside the branch’s top 40 midfielders when it comes to regaining ownership in the last third (0.79 times per 90).
That ability is possibly a factor in the growing hype surrounding the midfielder, with Bayern linking an increasingly lengthy queue for his or her services.
Bellingham is rumoured to be bringing admiring glances from Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool, so it appears highly probable he’ll have a decision to make about his future in the coming months.
It would be advisable for the England Under-17 global to take into account the cautionary tale of Dale Jennings when he weighs up whether or not a move abroad will take his career to another level.
While his move to Bayern was considered as a surprise, it was hailed as a move that had the potential to catapult the child to European stardom.
But fast forward eight decades and Jennings are plying his trade at Runcorn Town of the North West Counties Football League — the ninth grade of English soccer.
A string of injuries hampered his odds of success in Germany and the winger fought to ever recapture the kind of his childhood during spells at Barnsley and MK Dons.
Still only 26, Jennings reflected on his adventures at Bayern when he talked to Sky Sports News after registering for Runcorn Town this past year.
“Luck was not on my side,” he said. “I had a few injuries, did not realise how big a movement it had been at the moment, I was not professional enough, I did not do things right.
“I might have learned the language and took somewhat more time to adapt to living in Munich. But I was somewhat immature at the moment. Being only 18 I did not know how big it was actually.”
Bellingham will want to prevent those errors and could do worse than following the advice of fellow potential Ryan Sessegnon when contemplating his career path.
The 19-year-old resisted the impulse to leave Fulham immediately after breaking into the first team and built a good reputation as a Championship and Premier League celebrity, before moving to Tottenham Hotspur for £25million in the summertime.
But even if Bellingham does decide to engage in a move, there are some noticeable differences between the current crop of English kids and people of Jennings’ generation.
A move to the Bundesliga may have felt like an alienating experience, but English players finally have a support network of fellow experts at clubs up and down Germany.
These young players seem more inclined to embrace other cultures also, perhaps as a consequence of growing up in the United Kingdom’s increasingly multicultural cities.
With that in mind, Bellingham could well succeed where others have failed and get the most out of a move to Munich if Die Roten wind up submitting a concrete supply.
Such a transfer would obviously be a stern test of the midfielder’s mindset, however — if his performances this year are anything to go by — he appears to have the raw ability to make it in the Allianz Arena if given the chance.