Among those he now counts as team-mates are Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Erling Braut Haaland and Axel Witsel. Yet it's not one of the club's forwards that leaves Bellingham open-mouthed each day at training. That honour belongs to a defender.
“The one player not many people recognise or talk about too much is [left-back] Raphael Guerreiro,” Bellingham tells the January 2021 issue of FourFourTwo, in shops on Friday December 11 and available to order online now.
“Honestly, he only plays with his left foot but some of the things he can do – his passing, his dribbling – he makes look easy. He runs rings around everyone," Bellingham continues. To him, it’s a laugh."
Bellingham has also been stunned by the talent of compatriot Jadon Sancho, whose 2017 arrival in Dortmund from Manchester City helped pave the way for other young, ambitious Brits.
"When Jadon is on it, it’s frightening," he says. "Some of the stuff I’ve seen him do is scary, and I’ve only been here a few months.”
Sancho's three years at Dortmund have seen him evolve from relative obscurity into one of the brightest stars in world football. The now 20-year-old has already racked up more than 100 appearances for Dortmund and become a regular for his country. How much of an influence has that example been on young players like Bellingham?
“It’s massive,” he tells FFT. “Jadon is a big example for someone English and my age. We’re all trying to play but, specifically, we’re trying to make that next step into Europe’s elite – especially if you’ve already played at a certain level. Jadon’s done that perfectly.”
And while the old maxim advises against ever meeting your heroes, Bellingham has found the opposite to be true of Sancho, who has been incredibly welcoming since the teenager landed in Germany.
“When I first arrived in Dortmund, he was the one who really helped me out,” beams Bellingham fondly. “He was like, ‘Do you need this, do you understand what this is, do you know how to get this?’ He didn’t need to do that. He could have just gone about his own business and worried about himself, so for him to take the time to do that tells you a lot about what he’s like as a character.”
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