Jude Bellingham is here. It’s been a long road to Madrid, but along the way, the Englishman had three valuable years in Germany. Jude grew in experience, gained skills, and built his profile to become the Galactico signing he is today.
Bellingham played close to 1700 minutes in his first season in the Bundesliga after making a move from Birmingham City as a 17-year-old. The following season, at the age of 18, he played almost 2800 minutes in the league. In the recently concluded — and heartbreaking — 2022–23 season of the Bundesliga, he played nearly 2700 minutes. By this time, he had become one of the main faces of the English national team, which is usually a difficult thing to do for someone who doesn’t play in the Premier League. At Dortmund, he became one of the leaders too. All of this, and he is still just 19.
Here is a visual guide to how Bellingham has evolved into his current version:
It’s clear that Bellingham likes to carry the ball down the middle. Many of his progressive carries end before entering the final third. Before 2022–23, his final-third carries were focused on the left wing. In 2022–23, he has a lot of carries ending on the right as well. This can be useful at Real Madrid.
The progressive passing trends are similar to the carries. In his second year, Bellingham’s progressive passes were more through the half-spaces and focused on the left. The difference in his final year is staggering. His ability to connect with long balls on both flanks is really impressive. For Real Madrid’s style of play, this is another valuable asset.
As he has done in the Bundesliga over the last three seasons, Bellingham can operate from the left, center, and right. Real Madrid has most of the world’s best young midfielders in Aurelien Touchameni, Eduardo Camavinga, and Fede Valverde. Bellingham’s versatile profile makes him a good fit in any combination.
Only three players (Vinicius Junior, Leo Messi, and Jeremy Doku) in Europe’s top five leagues this season have completed more take-ons than Jude Bellingham in 2022–23. Bellingham is the only true midfielder among them. This adds to his line-breaking ability and could even be very essential in unlocking stubborn low blocks in La Liga.