An update has emerged on Sunderland and their efforts to add another talented young player to their squad in the upcoming summer transfer window…
What’s the latest on Jobe Bellingham to Sunderland?
According to the Northern Echo, Birmingham City central midfielder Jobe Bellingham is closing in on a permanent transfer to the Stadium of Light as Kristjaan Speakman attempts to get a deal over the line in the coming weeks.
The report claims that the 17-year-old brother of Borussia Dortmund and England star Jude Bellingham was in attendance to watch the Black Cats beat Luton Town 2-1 in the Championship play-offs on Saturday.
When asked about the youngster’s presence at the match, manager Tony Mowbray said:
“One of our coaches is very close to the Bellingham family, he talks on national telly sometimes about his big brother at Dortmund. Maybe he’s just come to watch a big game as their season has finished, I don’t know the answer to that and it’s not something I’m privy to.”
What is Jobe Bellingham’s style of play?
The Birmingham prospect is a versatile midfield player who can play in a variety of roles across the middle of the park and out wide.
Sunderland have already showcased their ability to bring through players in his position by turning Dan Neil into a first-team regular and Bellingham could be the next version of the Academy of Light graduate.
In the Championship this season, Neil has played 45 matches and made 3.3 tackles and interceptions per game whilst completing 83% of his attempted passes and chipping in with two goals and four assists – as per Sofascore.
As such, the 21-year-old has proven himself to be a reliable player at both ends of the pitch with his ability to win possession back for the side before using his quality on the ball to find a teammate, score a goal, or create a chance.
Bellingham, meanwhile, has only started five of his 22 appearances in the second tier this term but has shown great promise in his limited minutes.
The teenager ranks in the top 14% of players in his position for tackles, aerials won, and clearances per 90 in Europe’s next eight leagues (after the top five divisions) over the last 365 days.
Given his lack of starts, these statistics show that the 17-year-old is an active defender in the middle of the park who can cut out opposition attacks and win physical contests in the air on a regular basis.
He also scored five goals in 12 U18 matches for his club prior to making his first-team breakthrough and this indicates that the goalscoring potential is there for him to be a threat in the final third.
Therefore, Bellingham, who scout Jacek Kulig described as a “huge talent“, has the scope to develop into Sunderland’s next version of Neil by breaking into the side as a young central midfielder and offering plenty of offensive and defensive quality.