Back to his roots! England World Cup star Jude Bellingham returns to 'say thank you' to boyhood club Birmingham City

Jude Bellingham Birmingham 2022Getty Images
  • Bellingham left Birmingham for Dortmund in 2020
  • Club retired shirt number upon his departure
  • 19-year-old returned to 'say thank you'

WHAT HAPPENED? Bellingham was one of Gareth Southgate's standout performers in Qatar, but still took the opportunity to go back to his roots and show his appreciation for the club where it all began. Birmingham retired the 19-year-old's shirt number after he left for Borussia Dortmund in June 2020, and he was paraded at St Andrew's before their Championship clash with Reading. Fans sung: "Jude Bellingham, he's one of our own!" as he walked around the pitch.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Bellingham returns home, his future at club level remains uncertain. Ironically, Reading boss Paul Ince recently warned the 19-year-old not to rush a move to the Premier League, with Spanish champions Real Madrid also waiting in the wings for the Liverpool and Manchester City target. Bellingham's brother, Jobe, was named on the bench against the Royals and will be hoping to impress his elder sibling if called upon.

WHAT NEXT FOR BELLINGHAM? Despite many clubs being linked with a move for the teenager, Bellingham will be focused on club matters upon returning to Dortmund, who don't return to competitive action until January 22 when they face Augsburg in the Bundesliga.