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Arsenal had 'done deal' to sign Jude Bellingham prior to Edu appointment


The teenage midfielder starred for Borussia Dortmund in their midweek Champions League win at Besiktas with a goal and assist but he could easily have been playing for Arsenal instead

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Jude Bellingham produced a virtuoso performance for Borussia Dortmund in their opening Champions League group stage victory over Besiktas.

The teenage midfielder ran the show for the German side, opening the scoring in the 20 th minute before providing a superb solo run and assist for Erling Haaland to double the advantage.

It was a stunning performance from the 18-year-old, who has now netted in back-to-back Champions League games having scored in his side’s quarter-final loss at Manchester City last season.

The England international is already producing the level of performance to shine in Europe’s biggest club competition and is certain to have a bright future at the elite end of football.








Jude Bellingham scored and provided an assist in Borussia Dortmund’s win at Besiktas
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Image:

Getty Images)



Bellingham joined the Bundesliga side from Birmingham City just over a year ago, having also attracted interest from Manchester United.

It has since emerged that Arsenal had a deal in place to land the teenage prodigy from the Blues prior to his agreement with Dortmund, but the arrival of Edu as the club’s sporting director changed that.

The Brazilian’s appointment as the Gunners sporting director came amid sweeping changes to the club’s recruitment process behind the scenes as a number of scouts lost their roles.





Edu took over from former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat in 2019 with high-profile scouts Steve Morrow and Francis Cagigao among those to be moved on.

Gunners legend Tony Adams has subsequently revealed that the changeover in power from Mislintat and his team to Edu saw an agreed deal to land teenage superstar Bellingham break down.

Adams told an interview with Sky Sports last year: “I think it (a deal to sign Bellingham) got lost, this one, in the transition of the chief scout at Arsenal going out.

How would you rate Arsenal’s transfer business out of 10 under sporting director Edu? Let us know in the comments below





“He was spotted very early on, not by me, by the Arsenal recruitment office. The chief scout was absolutely bowled over by him and the great prospect that he is.

“He had more or less done the deal but at that moment the new sporting director Edu came in from Brazil and had no European experience and no UK experience.

“And I think it got lost in the transition, Edu didn’t know anything about this player. Unfortunately, the chief scout had the deal kind of done.

“We missed that one, unfortunately. They are the type of players we need to get hold of at the Arsenal if we’re ever going to develop and go forward.




“These kinds of players we need to tie up and get them to the Arsenal and build a phenomenal league team. He’s a great talent but unfortunately, he’s not joined the right club.”

Gunners fans will no doubt be infuriated to discover that such a breakdown in communication led to them missing out on one of football’s highest rated young prospects.

Bellingham has now been capped eight times for England and is now a star for club and country, with his valuation multiplying since his move to Germany last year.

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