Not everyone at Dortmund will be entirely unhappy to see the back of Jude Bellingham following his big-money move to Real Madrid this summer.
The 20-year-old, generally acknowledged to be the leading midfield talent of his age group, had reportedly left a sour taste in the mouths of his teammates with his general attitude at the Signal Iduna Park.
Christian Falk shared details of Emre Can’s private conversation with the England international, noting issues with the player’s ‘body language around his teammates’.
“I think every boss in the club would be happy to still have Jude Bellingham available on the pitch. That said, it’s also true that there were problems in the dressing room,” the BILD reporter shared with CaughtOffside in his exclusive Substack column.
“He was the third captain, of course, but he’s a very young player. To have such airs about you at 19 years of age… he let the others in the squad feel that he was better than them, but he didn’t always show it on the pitch.
“He’s always the player who leads from the front but the team didn’t see him when they exited the Champions League – those weren’t his best performances.
“Emre Can took him to the side once and told him that his body language around his teammates was not okay. If he was an experienced player, it’s one thing, but to be so young without any big titles to his name, he wasn’t in such a position.
“His exit will leave room for others to grow. Dortmund, of course, won’t be as good without him, but within the dressing room not everyone is crying about his departure.”
It’ll be no skin off Los Blancos’ nose, of course, especially not after the midfielder’s goalscoring start to life in La Liga, with one effort registered against Atheltic Bilbao on his debut.
With expectations in the Spanish capital arguably higher than any other in club football, however, it will be fascinating to observe whether or not Bellingham can live up to his own lofty potential and deliver in a department that still carries the fresh fingerprints of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro.
Many a supporter in Madrid will no doubt be hoping that the former Birmingham City youngster can turn back the clock even further and emulate his personal hero, and Real legend, Zinedine Zidane for many years to come.