What to expect from Jude Bellingham: Borussia Dortmund’s newest young star

Jude Bellingham (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Jude Bellingham (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Jude Bellingham of Birmingham City celebrates after he against Stoke
Jude Bellingham of Birmingham City celebrates after he against Stoke /

Playing Style

Over the course of his Birmingham City career, Jude Bellingham played a plethora of roles when in the starting 11. The young Englishman was used on both wings, as well as in the secondary striker role a handful of times. But his best role, most will agree, is in the middle of the park. It is in this role, as a “box to box” midfielder that Bellingham has excelled, catching the attention of Europe’s elite clubs.

He is a genuine box to box midfielder, equally as good in both halves of the pitch. He has great technical ability, excellent first touch, and the ability to read the opponent to put in a timely tackle.

In terms of the numbers, Bellingham has contributed with 4 goals and two assists in the Championship across 32 appearances total. He has sported a pass success percentage of 74.9%, which may seem on the low end at first, but as Bellingham’s role across the pitch suggests, he is often all over the pitch trying to help drive play forward, which may account for the percentage being lower than perhaps one would like.

When his teammates have the ball, he drops into little pockets of space between the opponent’s lines, trying to drag a player out of position to create an opening for others or for himself to use his pace to get in behind.

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The young Englishman is lauded for his first touch and technical ability, as well as his tenacity to be all over the pitch and help in the buildup, but also his ability to drop back, harrow opposition and press them to force a turnover in possession.

This season, Bellingham averaged 2.2 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 1.1 fouls per game, which underlined an ability to defend and a more aggressive side to his game. This, coupled with his ability to drive forward and dribble make Bellingham dangerous from anywhere on the pitch. He also has a strong duel success rate in what is considered to be one of the world’s most physical leagues. Despite his young age, he is not one to be bullied by his opponents.

With that being said, there are areas he needs to work on, as you would expect at such a young age. His decision making and execution of those decisions are just two things that will greatly improve throughout the coming years with the quality of his new teammates.

Having a varied skillset will be essential for Bellingham at Dortmund, considering the team is well stacked in his favoured midfield role. Dortmund have the likes of Julian Brandt, Axel Witsel, Thomas Delaney and Mo Dahoud in their midfield. And it will be interesting to see just how Lucien Favre plans to fit the youngster into the starting 11.

My guess is that he’ll likely try to give him minutes in his favoured box to box role, despite the amount of options Borussia Dortmund have. With the packed schedule facing his new side, Bellingham will certainly get his chances. And don’t be surprised if he takes those chances and becomes a regular starter in the coming years.