Collymore’s column: Reach out to me Dele, which club will win race for Bellingham and the two midfielders Liverpool must target

In his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, former Liverpool attacker Stan Collymore discusses some of football’s biggest talking points, including Dele Alli’s struggles, the Premier League’s decision to ban gambling shirt sponsors and what the future holds for Jude Bellingham, plus much more.


Let me help you Dele…

I really want to help Dele. I want him to reach out, get in touch with me and let me help him. I know all too well what it’s like to make bad choices – I am still reminded of some of the mistakes I have made daily by people on social media, so if I could help one other person avoid making the same, or similar mistakes, that I did, that would be great.

When it comes to the recent photographs that were released that allegedly show Dele inhaling laughing gas and drinking, everyone is either saying ‘Leave the kid alone, he’s having fun’, or ‘He’s ruined his career’ – we’re forgetting he’s a human being with thoughts and feelings.

Evertons Dele Alli

My first question is has his agent not been able to have any influence on his client’s lifestyle, and if not, why not? – I really want Dele, or his agent, to get in contact with me. I am willing to give the man my time and help him work out exactly what has gone wrong and how to fix it, and it may well be that he doesn’t feel passionate enough about football to want to continue to play it professionally, in which case, that’s absolutely fine, but let’s find the thing that does get you out of bed in the mornings, Dele.

Good news for fans, bad news for betting companies…

I am not anti-gambling but that’s only because I have never really had much to do with it. It’s one of the few vices that I never had. I do know people that have struggled with it in the past though, and I think for professional football to limit their fans’, particularly those who are younger, exposure to gambling is not a bad thing.

Just like how motorsport and snooker were both sponsored by tobacco companies and rightly moved away from it, now is the right time for football to begin to distance itself from the gambling industry.

west ham united v rsc anderlecht group b uefa europa conference league

I know there are a lot of people out there who enjoy a bet here and there and do so responsibly, and for those, gambling won’t go away. They will still be able to do the thing they enjoy, but limiting and slowly phasing out how much gambling is plastered over football will certainly help people avoid becoming future addicts and that is so important, especially at a time when financial struggles account for so many people’s mental health problems – so well done to the Premier League for making these changes.

Jude Bellingham will play for Real Madrid… But not yet.

I think he’ll end up at Manchester City in the summer and then in four or five seasons’ time, he, along with Erling Haaland, will go to Real Madrid as a potential world-breaking double transfer deal.

City do notoriously well when it comes to players who have a known fee, or a release clause. They take the price and pay it and make the player a huge salary offer. It’s what they’re best at so I expect to see a similar scenario play out between the Citizens, Borussia Dortmund and Bellingham at the end of the season.

jude bellingham 2023 bvb

And if you’re Bellingham, why would you not want to go to the Etihad? – Especially if Pep Guardiola can win the Premier League or the Champions League, or, dare I say it, the treble? – Adding quality to the side in time for next season would make them huge favourites to defend those trophies, so from a player’s perspective, it’s almost a no-brainer.

That being said, it’s crazy to think that Bellingham could go to Manchester City in the summer, stay there for five years and still not be anywhere near his peak, so I am calling it… Bellingham to Manchester City at the end of the season and then to Real Madrid when he’s 24 or 25 years old!

Liverpool must remind rivals they can still attract the best players…

If Liverpool can sign Mason Mount, Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister or Mount, Caicedo and Conor Gallagher, they’ll be relatively happy with that. If they were able to get Declan Rice out of West Ham that’d be a particularly good signing, especially if they were to beat the likes of Chelsea to his signature.

The important thing for Liverpool this summer is to sign either, or both, Mount or Rice, because getting those names would prove the Reds are still a club that is capable of attracting the best players.

I know the prospect of not being involved in the race to sign Bellingham is hugely disappointing, but in terms of backup alternatives, there are some good options available so I think fans may end up pleasantly surprised with how well things could turn out.

The post Collymore’s column: Reach out to me Dele, which club will win race for Bellingham and the two midfielders Liverpool must target appeared first on CaughtOffside.

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