Former Liverpool and Birmingham City winger Jermaine Pennant has compared Manchester United target Jude Bellingham to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, as well as insisting that he is surprised that not more clubs are chasing his signature. 

The 16-year-old central midfielder has burst onto the scene for Birmingham this season, delivering a string of polished performances for Pep Clotet’s side. He has racked up 31 appearances in all competitions, chipping in with four goals.

And his performance levels have most certainly not gone unnoticed, with the teenage sensation having become the subject of interest from both United and Chelsea.

Though Bellingham is being linked with a potential move to some of English football’s biggest clubs, Pennant, who has admitted that the youngster reminds him of a younger version of former England midfielder Gerrard, is surprised that not more clubs are showing an interest in securing his signature.

Pennant, who spent one season with Birmingham, told talkSPORT: “He’s a fantastic player. He reminds me of a young Steven Gerrard.

“He throws himself about, he can get up and down the pitch, he can score goals and assist goals, he’s got trickery. He’s a fantastic young player.

“And at 16 years of age he’s doing this week in, week out in the Championship.

“The Championship is a very, very strong, demanding and physical league, and he’s throwing his body about; he’s strong and he’s only going to get stronger. I’m surprised there are not more teams interested in him than just Chelsea and Manchester United because he is a really special talent.

“What he can achieve in his career is frightening.”

While Bellingham is being tipped to secure a big-money move to one of the Premier League’s elite clubs, Pennant is of the opinion that the central midfielder should be allowed to return to the St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on loan in a bid to develop his career further.

The former Liverpool winger continued: “I feel if a move does happen, for his potential ability to get better he should really stay at Birmingham.

“Sign a deal with one of the massive clubs, great, but hopefully they can discuss a deal where he goes back to Birmingham to further progress in his career.”