Arsenal told to cash in on five players including Granit Xhaka to sign Jude Bellingham

By Ben Husband

Arsenal have been told to ‘chop in’ five players in order to land Borussia Dortmund superstar Jude Bellingham.

The 18-year-old has previously been on the Gunners radar, although he will cost significantly more now than he would have if their first pursuit was successful.

Bellingham has emerged as one of the most exciting midfield talents in European football, after leaving Birmingham City for Dortmund last summer.

Now an England regular, Bellingham opted to go and ply his trade in the Bundesliga, rather than with a top Premier League club.

Manchester United were extremely keen to sign the midfielder, before he ultimately decided to join the Germans, a decision Darren Bent believes made perfect sense.

Jude Bellingham was on Arsenal's radar before he made the move to Borussia Dortmund (Pool via REUTERS)

“It makes sense for his development because he’s got more game time, in the Champions League, at Dortmund than at United,” he told talkSPORT.

Former Tottenham striker Bent, who is a boyhood Arsenal fan, implored Emirates chiefs to launch an audacious swap deal, trading half their team to land Bellingham.

“I’d literally switch five players for him, I’d chop in five for him,” he joked.

Asked to list the five, Bent outlined: “[Granit] Xhaka, [Mohamed] Elneny, Cedric, [Bernd] Leno, [Calum] Chambers. There’s your five and I’d give you £50million on top to get him.”

Arsenal missing out on young talents has become a common theme during the club’s fallow period and former skipper Tony Adams revealed that Bellingham was another near-miss.

Adams claims that a deal was scuppered when Edu was appointed as technical director, due to the fact the Brazilian hadn’t heard of him.

“I think it got lost this one in the transition of the chief scout,” Adams told Sky Sports last year.

“He was spotted very early on, not by me but by the Arsenal recruitment office. The chief scout was absolutely bowled over by him and the great prospect that he is.

Granit Xhaka is one of five Arsenal players Darren Bent would swap for Bellingham (REUTERS)

“New sports director Edu came in from Brazil and had no European experience and no UK experience and I think it got lost in the transition.

“Unfortunately the chief scout had the deal kind of done but we missed that one. He’s a great talent but unfortunately he’s not joined the right club.”

Adams added: "They are the type of players we need to get hold of at the Arsenal if we’re ever going to develop and go forward.

"These kind of players we need to tie up, get them to the Arsenal and build a phenomenal league team. He’s a great talent but unfortunately he’s not joined the right club.”

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