Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund will see two of the world’s most expensive midfielders Jude Bellingham and Enzo Fernandez face off again
Chelsea hosting Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League this week is a chance for two of the world’s brightest prospects to do battle again.
Jude Bellingham will face Enzo Fernandez once again, months before he likely usurps the Argentine as the world’s most expensive midfielder.
Bellingham’s side won in the first encounter but the Englishman was relatively quiet (/caption)
In the first encounter, Dortmund beat Chelsea 1-0 and Bellingham, although not up to their usual standards, outperformed their midfield counterpart.
However, it was close as Fernandez had more touches (91), more shots (four) and made more assists (73).
But Bellingham made more dribbles (two), more tackles (three), interceptions (two) and more key passes (two).
And the pair will face off again when Dortmund visit west London live on talkSPORT later this week for the second leg of that round of 16.
The two starlets were on a collision course to meet at the World Cup in December as the main contenders for the tournament’s Young Player title.
Bellingham also scored his first senior international goal in what was also England’s first in Qatar in the opening 6-2 loss to Iran.
The 19-year-old then became just the second teenager after Michael Owen to start a World Cup knockout tie for the Three Lions, thanks to an assist in a 3-0 win over Senegal.
On the other side of the draw, Fernandez became the second-youngest World Cup goalscorer for Argentina – only behind Lionel Messi – when he curled up in a daze to defeat Mexico.
All talk in the Round of 16 focused on Bellingham and Fernandez, although the latter admitted in Qatar that he tried to study Declan Rice instead.
Yet England’s quarter-final loss to France meant that none of the three lined up against each other and Argentina claimed glory.
A month later Chelsea broke the UK transfer record to snap up Fernandez, but talkSPORT co-host Simon Jordan believes if he costs £106.8million Borussia Dortmund will demand at least £150million pounds sterling for Bellingham.
“Obviously Dortmund are going to sit there rubbing their hands because of the situation Liverpool find themselves in now,” he said on the White and Jordan show.
“If Liverpool can raise money, then I think it’s an interesting place for him because he can really be part of a regeneration, and with the legacy of this football club, and Jurgen Klopp in his pomp. , I would like to see him there.
“I hate this conversation because of the ridiculous values given to footballers…
“But if you talk about this kid Fernandez going to Chelsea from Benfica for £105m, then you look at Bellingham and all that and you start moving into £125m or £150m territory.
“They won’t ask for it on a drip either. Dortmund will say: “We have a bunch of suitors, so you pay him and you pay him now.”
“And Real Madrid can pay whatever they want.”
Chelsea are said to be among the teams keen to get Bellingham to pair him alongside Fernandez and the stats show just how much the pair would compliment each other.
Fernandez has won more duels (29), tackles (12, ten of which he won) and had the most touches (534) of any Chelsea midfielder since his Premier League debut.
Bellingham, meanwhile, has thrived in Erling Haaland’s absence and is Dortmund’s top scorer with 10 goals.
Moreover, he can become the first Englishman in Champions League history to score against two English away teams.
This latest encounter between Chelsea and Dortmund is yet another opportunity for all of us to see two of the best young midfielders in the world go head-to-head once again.
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