WATCH: Jude Bellingham is the complete midfielder, playing three positions at the same time
Bellingham has shone for both England and Borussia Dortmund, and it's little wonder when exploring his abilities all over the pitch
Jude Bellingham most sought after player in world football ahead of the summer transfer window, with Europe's elite all sniffing around the English midfielder.
His excellent performances for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and Champions League, as well as his displays at World Cup 2022, have made everyone sit up and take notice of Bellingham's scintillating talent. Not to mention the fact that the 19-year-old has already worn the captain's armband on four occasions this season.
But with that being said, what actually makes Jude Bellingham such a special player? FourFourTwo's Adam Clery explains more in the video below.
Bellingham's ability to play three positions at the same time
In both of England's opening Euro 2024 qualifying games against Italy and Ukraine, Gareth Southgate set the side up in 4-3-3 formation, with Bellingham each time in left central midfield. Declan Rice played alongside him both times, with Kalvin Phillips and Jordan Henderson alternating in each game.
However, as FFT's Adam Clery highlights, Bellingham didn't just stick to that one position for the entirety of each game. No, he instead played the role of three midfielders at once
"One thing you need to understand about Jude Bellingham is he is one of the best players in the world in this [defensive third] position, but he's also one of the best players in the world in this [midfield third] position - and, conveniently, he's one of the best players in the world in this [attacking third] position.
"He can literally play almost any midfield role at an elite level. That's what he did for England as and when situations required him to do it."
Highlighting every aspect of his play against Italy last Thursday, Bellingham's pressing, winning the ball back, driving runs forward, ability to win fouls, shooting and his desire to get into the box to attack crosses.
Indeed, for defensive contributions per 90 minutes in the past year across Europe's top five leagues, Bellingham ranks in the top 25, 15 and five per cent of midfielders. For progressive actions per 90 minutes across the same time scale, the 19-year-old is within the top ten per cent of midfielders.
And finally, for attacking contributions per 90 minutes in the past year, he is once again in the top ten per cent of midfielders.
"The guy literally does it all, and does it all in every game," Clery concludes.
Wearing the No.22 shirt for his club sides also indicates his ability as a midfielder to play every position in that area of the pitch - as a four, eight and 10.
During an interview with FFT, Bellingham's first senior manager at Birmingham, Pep Clotet, rang the Dortmund midfielder to ascertain is insistence on donning the specific number.
“Hey Jude, just a quick one? Yeah, everything is all right," Clotet's conversation with Bellingham went.
"Just a quick one: why did you pick the 22 shirt at Blues? And why four, why eight and why 10? That’s all the positions you can play? All right! No, it’s because a journalist told me and I said, ‘F**king hell, you know more than me!’ I said, ‘I’ll ask him!’ All right, thanks – that was it. Keep on, I’ll speak to you later!”
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.
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