If Borussia Dortmund are to reverse their run of seven-straight defeats against Bayern in this Sunday's Klassiker, much will depend on the performance of Jude Bellingham.
Still just 19 years old, the Englishman has become the Black and Yellows most important players, putting in consistently excellent performances this campaign. Bellingham scored his third Champions League goal in as many games against Sevilla on Wednesday and heads into the Klassiker in sensational form.
The midfielder's performances have drawn widespread praise, not least from Bundesliga legend Lothar Matthäus, who spoke glowingly of the Dortmund star in an exclusive chat with FourFourTwo.
"He’s just 19 years old, very young, and he’s already showing on a consistent basis just how much quality he has," Matthäus told FFT ahead of Sunday's showdown with Bayern. "He’s not afraid to take responsibility, he’s physically very impressive for a teenanger and he’s hugely intelligent. He’s someone who understands how to use his aggression during games - when to press, when to make a tackle or an interception and when to sit tight and hold his position.
"It’s not all about his defensive work though," Matthäus continued. "He’s beginning to show more, with each passing game, that he's a dangerous player going forward. He can play the final ball, he can head and he can shoot well from outside the box."
Matthäus believes Bellingham could become one of the breakout stars of the World Cup in Qatar, providing he's given the opportunity to play. "He’s someone English football fans need to be hugely excited about," the World Cup-winning former Germany captain told FFT. "With his mentality, he’s not somebody that needs to be treated as a young player who hopes for a few minutes here and there - he’s a player who should be starting every match.
"He’s becoming an important part of the national team and, in my opinion, he has the potential to be one of the best midfielders England have ever produced. I played against some pretty good ones myself and I see those qualities in him."
Lothar Matthäus was speaking to FourFourTwo in his role as a Bundesliga Legend. Find out all the latest from the Bundesliga here.
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