January could see the arrival of this “absolute monster” at Tottenham Hotspur.
James Maddison was a wise business move by Tottenham Hotspur, who paid £40 million to acquire him from Leicester City, who had been demoted. Football analyst Jamie Carragher has already called the England international “one of the most influential players” in the Premier League this year.
But Spurs’ performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers before the international break was tangible evidence that, under Ange Postecoglou, the team has grown increasingly dependent on Maddison to create opportunities. The playmaker missed six shots at Molineux, with an expected goals total of 0.7, during Maddison’s absence.
According to reports, the North London team wants to strengthen their midfield lineup before the January transfer window opens.
Spurs have reportedly been watching Sunderland’s highly-rated young player, Josh Bellingham, and have expressed interest in signing the 18-year-old since January, when he was a starter for Birmingham City, according to Football Insider. According to the outlet, Bellingham’s stellar play with the Black Cats has attracted interest from Bundesliga clubs as well as other Premier League teams.
Bellingham, who turned 18 in September, has played in every one of Sunderland’s 16 Championship games. Tony Mowbray’s team is currently in the hunt for a seven-year run back to the top division, and Bellingham has contributed to every one of those games. Despite playing as a number ten and a central midfielder, the young player has managed to score three goals and record one assist.
The brother of Real Madrid sensation Jude, Jobe has made waves in England’s second division and is hailed as a “absolute monster” in the making by former Premier League striker Troy Deeney.
Jobe Bellingham’s stats this season
If Bellingham signs with the English giants this winter, some Sunderland supporters even think he is a “copy and paste” of his older sibling, suggesting the young player has a higher ceiling than Maddison of Tottenham Hotspur.
When comparing Bellingham’s numbers at such a young age to all players in the same position from leagues comparable to the Championship during the previous calendar year, they are undoubtedly impressive.
The £3 million midfield player is in the top 2% and top 12%, respectively, for non-penalty xG per 90 and non-penalty goals per 90. Furthermore, according to FBref, Bellingham is currently ranked in the top 19% for progressive passes received per 90 and the top 6% for touches in the attacking penalty area per 90.
According to the BBC, Bellingham has tied Dan Neil for the most goals scored for the Black Cats this season with three, and he has a 56% shot accuracy and a 17% conversion rate. Only Jack Clarke has scored more goals for the Black Cats than Bellingham.
The young Sunderland player is demonstrating his incredible talent despite his inexperience by matching Maddison in a number of important attacking metrics.
Bellingham is still far behind Maddison in terms of quality, particularly when it comes to his inventiveness. If Spurs strike a deal with Sunderland in the upcoming months, the young player’s ability to even match certain stats is a testament to his abilities and may indicate a future passing of the baton.
At N17, Maddison might be the shining star right now, but if a deal for the teenager is completed in 2024, Bellingham might rise to prominence akin to that of his Golden Boy-winning brother.