Not since 2004, has a young English wonder-kid taken the World by storm and placed a whole nation’s hopes of success on his ever-growing shoulders. But 2023 will go down as the year of Jude, as Bellingham’s impression across Europe has seen him become only the third ever Englishman to win the ‘Golden Boy’ award behind Wayne Rooney (2004) and Raheem Sterling (2014). But why is Bellingham being talked about as the next Zinedine Zidane? In this article for the Dugout, we look at some of the key statistics which separates the ‘Boy from Birmingham’ from the rest.
GOALS, GOALS & MORE GOALS
Surely the only place to start is the secret to any great attack minded player, putting the ball into the back of the net. And although traditionally thought of as a central-midfielder or number ‘8’, goals are something Bellingham exceeds in, hitting similar numbers to his role model Steven Gerrard. It is however in Spain where the goal-scoring prowess has become so evident, as Bellingham current leads the La Liga scoring charts with 13 goals in only 17 games (0.76 goals per game). He has now racked up 47 goals for club and country in 226 games whilst still only being 20-years-young.
It is not just the numbers however, but also the wide variety of how Bellingham finds the net. This season 54% of his goals have been scored with his right-predominate-foot, 23% with his left foot & 23% with his head. He has scored inside and outside of the box and is currently working to a conversion rate of 33.3%, with 13 of his 39 shots accumulating to goals. In fact, if Bellingham hits the target, he normally scores, as 59% of his shots on target are goals.
AN ALL-ACTION BOX-TO-BOX MIDFIELDER
Perhaps though what makes Jude so impressive is his output away from just putting the ball in the back of the net. Although playing most of the season in the ‘Number 10’ position, Bellingham has attempted 938 passes (4th most for Real Madrid) with an 87.8% pass completion rate, numbers only Madrid defenders can compete with as they build up from the back. But it is not just the simple pass Jude attempts, with 16 through balls attempted, more than double of any Madrid teammate and tied-third most in La Liga overall.
There is also his robust side of play, where he uses his 6-foot-1 frame to bully opposition players to win the ball back for his team. This is evident with his 14 aerial duals won (4th most for Madrid), 73 ball recoveries and most impressively 80% of tackles won. He has the third most touches of any ‘Los Blancos’ player (1168), with 50.3% of these happening in the heartbeat of the pitch. He has covered 4,332 yards with the ball at his feet beaten only by Frederico Valverde, Rodrygo and Toni Kroos.
RECORD-BREAKING CAREER TO DATE
Bellingham’s performances on the pitch have seen him now become integral not only for the 14-time Champions League winners Real Madrid but also for Gareth Southgate’s England side looking to finally end the long wait for a second major honour. As well as leading the club and league scoring charts, Jude also boasts the most Shots on Target, Through Balls, Blocks, Fouls Drawn and Tackles Won for a side who currently sit top of La Liga 7 points in front of arch-rivals FC Barcelona. He also has the best ‘WhoScored’ rating in the league (7.87) which subsequently earns him a place in the Team of the Season (Europe’s Top 5 Leagues).
He has already broken records at Real Madrid, becoming the player to score the most goals in his first 15 appearances (14) and the first Madridista to score in all four of his first Champions League games for the club. On top of the accolade of 'Jude Bellingham Golden Boy', he also won the 2023 Kopa Trophy (previously a Runner-up in 2021) and DFB-Pokal. He fell short at Euro 2020 with England losing in the final against Italy, however, has won the EFL Young Player of the Year (2019-20), Bundesliga Player of the Season (2022-23) and 2 x La Liga Player of the Month Awards. So, more records and honours are surely on the way for Jude, who at the age of 20 has the World at his feet.
TECHNOLOGY TO AID YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Here at Elite Skills Arena, we create training products to aid the development of players and help them achieve their maximum potential. Take Jude’s accolades, our Precision Wall allows players to repetitively take shots on goal, not only improving their accuracy but also converting on-target shots to goals with the use of data via the ESA Data Hub. We can track shots in relation to the area they hit the goal, meaning players/coaches can analyse their efforts and find the smaller margins of improvement in their attacking play.
Our ICON Range and Wireless Circuit also supports player development, in terms of passing, ball carries and distance covered. Using our technology, players can improve their passing accuracy, as well as learning to be comfortable with the ball at their feet for long periods of time. Within a 1-minute ESA Training Mode, a user will have more touches of the ball than they would experience in a 90-minute match and multiple Training Modes played result in a simulation of hundreds of matches. Using the Elite Skills Arena products, aspiring Box-to-Box Midfielders looking to become the next Jude Bellingham, can train all the key elements needed to succeed at the highest level.
All stats are accurate as of Friday 12th January 2024