Borussia Dortmund has signed promising 17-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham from second-division club Birmingham, the German club said Monday. Dortmund finally confirmed the expected deal two days before Birmingham’s final league game of the season – a potential relegation decider against Derby. Dortmund said Bellingham signed a “long-term deal” and will wear the No. 22 jersey.
“I’m incredibly excited to have joined one of Europe’s biggest clubs,” Bellingham told Birmingham’s website. “The direction they are heading in and how much they help to improve young players made it an easy decision for myself and my family.”
Bellingham follows in the footsteps of England forward Jadon Sancho, who was 17 when he made the move from Manchester City to Dortmund three years ago. Sancho has since become one of the Bundesliga’s most valuable attacking players with 17 goals and 17 assists this season.
Bellingham made his debut for Birmingham last August, aged 16 and 138 days. That made him the youngest player in the club’s history. He went on to score four goals in 40 league appearances.
Bellingham has also played for England at the under-17 level.