Jude Bellingham has explained he signed for Borussia Dortmund because of their emphasis on promoting young players in the senior squad.
Dortmund confirmed the signing of the 17-year-old midfielder on Monday after a drawn-out transfer race for the Birmingham City star.
Manchester United tried everything to impress the player, but the teenager eventually joined Dortmund as his best option to develop.
‘I can’t thank Birmingham City enough for what they have done for me – not just this season, but since the age of seven,’ Bellingham said.
‘Of course, I wish everyone associated with the club nothing but the best. Once a blue, always a blue. However, I’m incredibly excited to have joined one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
‘The direction they are heading in and how much they help young players improve made it an easy decision for me personally and my family.
‘I can’t wait to perform in front of over 80,000 fans when they are back inside one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world – hopefully as soon as possible.’
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Bellingham rejected a transfer to United because he was really concerned about his playing opportunities in the senior team of the Red devils.
Dortmund confirmed Jude Bellingham would link up immediately with the first-team squad having signed a long-term contract with the club.
‘Jude Bellingham has decided with absolute confidence to pursue his career at Borussia Dortmund. The primary motivation behind his decision were the prospects on the pitch we were able to offer him,’ said Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc.
‘He has enormous potential, which we will continue to develop together with him over the coming years. ‘He already boasts astonishing quality with and without the ball, and has a strong mentality to boot. ‘
‘Jude will immediately strengthen our first team squad, but we will certainly give him all the time he needs to adapt to the higher level of play.’
Bellingham will wear the No.22 shirt at Dortmund having made the shirt his own at his former club.