·9 September 2023
·9 September 2023
England national football team manager Gareth Southgate has spoken at length about Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham, saying that at his age, the England star has a huge mentality.
Despite being a midfielder, Bellingham is currently Madrid’s top scorer with five goals. With a goal of involvement of five goals and an assist, the 20-year-old has been involved in 75% of his team’s tally in four games this season.
Bellingham is currently with his national team, preparing for England’s match with Ukraine on Saturday. Speaking ahead of the game, Southgate pressed that Bellingham is arguably a one-of-a-kind player and rather than making comparisons with Paul Scholes and Bryan Robson, one must note that he is the first Bellingham.
“I guess the ability to arrive in the box late [compares], but I think it’s better for him to be the first of him rather than the next of someone else,” Southgate was quoted by the Independent.
“He is one that sort of striding forward. In the old days, he would have been a box-to-box midfielder but now, with it much more specific on the position they are playing, the patterns you work to get them into the game.
“But I think any midfield player who can get forward or get score goals is especially important,” he added.
The Three Lions head coach further added that the midfielder has good emotional intelligence and is quite mature for a person his age.
“He has a huge maturity,” Southgate said. “He has a good emotional intelligence. He has had to go into a dressing room and an interesting dynamic where some world-class players are there.
“He is there to ultimately take their place but, knowing him, he will have approached them off the pitch with tremendous respect and will have gone into the training sessions and the games ready to compete and show what a good player he is.
“He found that balance brilliantly when he first joined us. I have no doubt that is what has happened while he has been there,” he explained.
Southgate also said that Bellingham had to show the other side of him at Madrid since the team has now lost a prolific goalscorer, Karim Benzema. Eventually, he went on to admit that he is not at all surprised at what has panned out.
“He has had to show a slightly different side because he has played a little higher with them losing [Karim] Benzema and his game is suited to forward running and arriving in the box and the nice thing from our point of view is that he is scoring more goals which is great.
“I’m not completely surprised because of the personality he has and the calmness he has, coupled with the competitiveness, you never know how it is going to go because you don’t know how the team is going to play and whether the role you get at the start is going to suit you,” he concluded.