Liverpool transfer target Jude Bellingham has been likened to legendary midfielder Zinedine Zidane.
Bellingham is Liverpool’s top transfer target this summer. The Reds have a battle on their hands to get him though, with two or three other top teams vying for his signing.
And as per former Birmingham City sporting advisor Andres Manzano, it’s easy to see why. Given his very unique profile, not many footballers are likened to Zidane these days. But as Manzano told AS via le10sport, he very much saw shades of the World Cup winner in Bellingham’s early performances at City.
“That day [when he first saw Bellingham] he played as a central midfielder in a double pivot system. Maybe a physical English player like Gerrard or Lampard. But then I saw him many more times, sometimes we put him on the wing to go inside and he reminded me a lot of Zidane,” he said.
“As strong as the comparison sounds, that’s how it was. He’s a tall player, with a lot of technical ability, with a lot of playmaking and organisation, a goal scorer and a good assistant. Now that he has grown up and is more mature, I reaffirm that he is very similar to Zidane.
“If you watch him play, the coordination he has with that height and his ability to combine and dominate the ball, I can’t think of a more appropriate example.”
Liverpool looking for their own Zizou
It’s hard to put your finger on Zidane as a footballer. Not quite a midfielder, not quite an attacking player, he was one of the most ethereal players of all time.
But what you wouldn’t really class him as is a box-to-box type midfielder. ‘Zizou’ had the physicality to do that job, but you’d always want him more in positions to cause damage further up the pitch than in his own half.
The Frenchman was a classic No.10 without ever really being a classic No.10. Again, for younger readers, it’s hard to quite put into words Zidane’s role in modern-day terms.
For however good he was though – and he was utterly ridiculous – he probably wouldn’t be the answer to Liverpool’s current midfield problems.
Before outrage erupts from a segment of readers, let me explain. Right now Liverpool need solidity, legs and ball-running from deep. To bring a player like Zidane into that wouldn’t fix the problem. Perhaps he could do the role to some extent, but it wouldn’t be using him effectively.
That’s why this comparison doesn’t really chime with us. Of course, Manzano knows what he was watching and his opinion is as valid as any. But Bellingham looks for all the world like a complete box-to-box midfielder. Gerrard always feels like a more fitting comparison.
Either way, Liverpool are hell-bent on bringing him to Anfield. We never got to see Zidane grace the hallowed turf. If this gets over the line, according to Manzano, we could get the next best thing.
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