USMNT defender George Bello is on the move from Atlanta United. Bello has joined Arminia Bielefeld on a contract until 2026. He will wear No. 24 for the team and likely take over at starting left back. Cercle Brugge and Club Brugge of Belgium were also after Bello during this January transfer window, but the 20-year-old preferred the move to Germany.
The fee is for around $2 million but includes both add-ons and a sell-on fee so it could rise in the future.
Bello made his senior debut with the United States in January of 2021 against Trinidad and Tobago. The young left back has since been called up for last summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup and was a starter in the final against Mexico. Gregg Berhalter called Bello up for the December friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina which featured an MLS-predominant roster as it took place in the middle of the European club season. Bello has not gotten the call for World Cup qualifiers and will watch Wednesday’s Concacaf showdown against Honduras (7:30 p.m. ET | Paramount+) in Saint Paul, Minnesota, from home.
Bello was signed as a Homegrown player by Atlanta United in 2017 but didn’t make his MLS debut until 2018 vs. DC United. Over 52 appearances with the senior team, Bello has scored three goals and provided three assists with the vast majority coming over the past two seasons during which he has been a full time starter at left back. While other defenders in the league have provided more in the attacking third than Bello, most aren’t as young as he is outside of Kevin Paredes who recently moved to Wolfsburg from DC United.
Considering how well Americans have developed in Germany and Bello’s contract situation, it makes all the sense in the world why his camp wanted to hold out for the move to Arminia instead of signing in Belgium. Arminia Bielefeld are no longer in dire threat of being relegated in Bundesliga play (they currently sit 14th), so a they raised the offer to an acceptable standard to get their target now.
An interesting tidbit is that four of the bottom six sides in the Bundesliga have at least one American likely in their starting lineup. Hertha has Chris Richards in the back line. Wolfsburg has John Brooks and new recruit Kevin Paredes. Augsburg made Ricardo Pepi their record signing and now Arminia has Bello.