Although it’s by no means certain that Jude Bellingham will leave Borussia Dortmund this summer, there is an expectation that Liverpool would be one of the clubs interested in his services should he depart the German giants.
The England international has been linked to the Reds by a number of outlets including 90Min, and it’s easy to understand why given that Jurgen Klopp’s side have suffered in midfield throughout the 2022/23 campaign.
Not having anyone to boss that area of the pitch properly has really hampered Liverpool’s chances in all of the major competitions, so one could argue that there is an inherent need for the Merseysiders to try and secure Bellingham’s signature at all costs.
However, there has to be a consideration as to what might happen if they’re unable to land the player.
Former club legend, Michael Owen, has asked exactly that question and given Liverpool a potential get out of jail card if Bellingham does decide to go elsewhere, for any number of reasons.
“What if you can’t get the best? What if Jude Bellingham goes to Real Madrid, what’s your answer?,” he said on Optus Sport’s The Final Word programme(subscription required).
“Go and get the next best, try to get Declan Rice or get someone else who is of a top standard. All of this ‘just buy and get rid of players’, I don’t get it and it’s music to my ears that someone else has said the same.”
Whether Rice would want to move to the north west for his next challenge is a moot point at this stage, though there is merit in Owen’s suggestion.
A similar if less dynamic midfielder than Bellingham, Rice is the glue that holds his West Ham side together.
Happy to drive the team forward and take responsibility, the 24-year-old is a brilliant midfielder in his own right and would surely slot into the Reds set up with consummate ease.