World Football

I was desperate to bring Jude Bellingham to Chelsea: Frank Lampard

Rajarshi ShuklaRajarshi Shukla

November 7 2023
Jude Bellingham Real Madrid vs Granada

Jude Bellingham now plays for Spanish club Real Madrid

Frank Lampard says he pressed Chelsea’s management to sign Jude Bellingham, but they refused.

During his first stint as head coach, Bellingham, then 16 years old, was brought from Birmingham to Stamford Bridge by Chelsea’s record goalscorer, who describes the move as “desperate.”

Despite having many admirers at the time, the now-Real Madrid star decided to sign with Borussia Dortmund since there was a better path to regular playing time.

Even though Bellingham would not have chosen to move to West London, Lampard was leading Chelsea through a brief youth revolution by mainly relying on academy graduates like Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, and Fikayo Tomori—none of whom are now with the team.

However, Lampard revealed to John Obi Mikel, a former teammate, on his podcast:

“When I was managing at Chelsea I was desperate to bring Jude Bellingham in. But I couldn’t get it through upstairs – the idea of paying £20m for someone his age.”

Additionally, Lampard has previously stated that he attempted to sign Erling Haaland but was turned down for a deal by the club’s board, who have all left since the ownership shift.

During a disastrous second stint in the dugout as an interim manager towards the end of the previous season, Lampard stated that he was “pushing big” to sign the Norwegian in 2020.

“I don’t know whether he would have decided to come here anyway but I was a big fan of that [signing Haaland],” Lampard said. “There are some of those that happen, aren’t there, that people know about or it could have been this way.

“People talk a lot about mistakes or things that could have been in football. Whether he would have come here, I don’t know but I was pushing big and on a few other players at the time. But he was the outstanding one. Was it close? He’ll only know the answer to that. What stage did it get to? From our point, I was certainly pushing it. I’m not sure what the appetite was everywhere else in the club to do it.

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