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A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?

The saying goes that pressure can turn ordinary individuals into remarkable ones. Just envision relocating to a foreign land to join a club aiming to challenge the dominance of Bayern Munich, subsequently becoming a beloved figure among the fans and even serving as a stand-in captain. Moreover, imagine starting for your national team in a World Cup, and all of this happening before you reach the age of 20.

Jude Bellingham Image via Twitter A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?
Jude Bellingham, Image via Twitter

In the past three years, Jude Bellingham has shouldered this immense burden, and not only has the young English talent consistently risen to the occasion, but he has also made it appear effortless. Despite numerous top European clubs vying for his signature in the summer of 2023, it was Real Madrid who secured his services in a deal valued at an initial €103 million, with the potential to rise to €134 million. Thus far, his performances on the field have more than justified this substantial investment.

Jude Bellingham Image via Twitter 1 A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?
Jude Bellingham, Image via Twitter

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Jude Bellingham: The Arrival of Real Madrid’s Newest Sensation

On the 2nd of September, a Saturday, Real Madrid played their last match before the International Break, and it witnessed yet another unforgettable moment courtesy of Jude Bellingham. Impressively, he had already found the net in each of his first three appearances for Real Madrid. In his debut La Liga match at the Santiago Bernabéu, Bellingham delivered a moment of brilliance by scoring a 95th-minute winner against Getafe.

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The match had its fair share of drama as the visitors took a 1-0 lead into halftime. However, Joselu managed to equalize early in the second half. Just when it seemed like Carlo Ancelotti’s team might drop their first points of the season, Bellingham stepped up to the plate. He seized the opportunity, following up on Lucas Vázquez’s long-range strike, and slotted in the winning goal, securing a thrilling victory for Real Madrid.

Jude Bellinghams Goal vs Getafe Image via Opta Analyst A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?
Jude Bellingham’s Goal vs Getafe, Image via Opta Analyst

Jude Bellingham’s remarkable anticipation, which has allowed him to consistently find the back of the net in the early stages of his career in Spain, was once again evident. He began his run towards goalkeeper David Soria even before Lucas Vázquez had taken his shot, showcasing his exceptional ability to read the game and position himself perfectly to capitalize on opportunities.

Jude Bellinghams Goal vs Getafe Image via Opta Analyst 1 A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?
Jude Bellingham’s Goal vs Getafe, Image via Opta Analyst

As he had hoped, David Soria, who had been performing excellently up to that moment, couldn’t contain the powerful shot from Lucas Vázquez and spilled the ball. Consequently, Jude Bellingham was the first to react and was presented with a straightforward tap-in to secure the victory for his team.

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Jude Bellinghams Goal vs Getafe Image via Opta Analyst 2 A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?
Jude Bellingham’s Goal vs Getafe, Image via Opta Analyst

In his brief tenure at Madrid, this was merely the most recent illustration of Bellingham’s ability to excel in crucial moments. Madrid has triumphed in all four of their initial season matches, and their newfound midfielder deserves credit for nearly all of those victories.

Bellingham made quite an entrance with his scoring prowess. He netted on his debut in a 2-0 victory against Athletic Club. Then, he displayed his goal-scoring ability again by scoring twice to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory against Almería, ultimately winning 3-1. His 81st-minute winning goal against Celta Vigo in his third game had fans in awe, and he continued to impress with a late goal against Getafe, leaving observers to question if the 20-year-old possesses superhuman abilities.

Bellingham accomplished a remarkable feat, becoming just the fourth player in the 21st century to score in his first four La Liga matches, following in the footsteps of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo (both in 2009-10), and Cesc Fàbregas (2011-12). Furthermore, he joined the exclusive company of Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski as one of three players to score five goals in just four games in the competition this century, with only Radamel Falcao achieving that feat in fewer appearances, taking just three games to reach the same milestone.

What Has Led to his Prolific Goal-Scoring, Particularly Given that He Doesn’t Typically Play as a Forward?

In essence, he has been granted the freedom to act as an additional forward when Madrid is in possession. As indicated by his recent touch zone map, he frequently receives the ball in advanced areas, even taking more touches per 90 inside the penalty area than in the central box within the opposition half.

Jellinghams Open Play Touches Image via Opta Analyst A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?
Jude Bellingham’s Open Play Touches, Image via Opta Analyst

Bellingham’s role has been intriguing thus far; he essentially operates as a number 10 positioned behind a front two, initially consisting of Rodrygo and Vinícius Júnior, until Vinícius Júnior sustained a muscle injury against Celta Vigo, leading to Joselu taking his place.

In addition to this role, Bellingham benefits from a robust support system. He’s flanked by a midfield trio that excels in controlling the game, dictating play, and snuffing out opposition threats. While Aurelien Tchouaméni has been a consistent presence alongside him, Eduardo Camavinga, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Federico Valverde have also featured in the midfield trio, providing the stability that allows Bellingham the freedom to roam and make attacking contributions when necessary.

Regarding his goal-scoring prowess, Bellingham has indeed been clinical. He has capitalized on all four of his significant goal-scoring opportunities, and his five goals have come from just 10 shots, with an accumulated expected goals (xG) value of 1.8. Notably, no player in Europe’s top five leagues this season has exceeded their xG by as much as Bellingham’s impressive 3.2 so far. Teddy Teuma of Reims comes in second with 2.69 (scoring 3 goals from an xG of 0.31).

Best Goals to XG Differential in Top Five Leagues Image via Opta Analyst A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?
Best Goals to XG Differential in Top Five Leagues, Image via Opta Analyst

Ancelotti’s trust in Bellingham is evident, as the young midfielder has logged 351 league minutes for Madrid, second only to David Alaba’s 360 minutes. This trust has been well-placed, given Bellingham’s impressive contributions. He has been crucial to Madrid’s goal-scoring efforts, accounting for five of their eight goals. Notably, no other player has scored more than one goal, making Bellingham’s presence vital, especially in the absence of Karim Benzema up front.

However, Bellingham’s impact extends beyond scoring. In terms of chance creation, only Toni Kroos (11) has exceeded his nine chances created, and Bellingham stands out as the leader in chances created from open play (also nine).

Furthermore, he ranks joint-second in all of La Liga for his involvement in attacking sequences with 28 involvements, trailing only Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong (30) and sharing this position with Barcelona’s Jules Koundé and Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas. Bellingham’s contribution is well-balanced within these sequences, with eight shots, eight chances created, and 12 involvements in the build-up to a shot.

Attacking Sequence Involvements After 4 Games in Spanish La Liga Image via Opta Analyst A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?
Attacking Sequence Involvements After 4 Games in Spanish La Liga, Image via Opta Analyst

Adaptable Brilliance: Bellingham’s Diverse Contributions on the Pitch

Bellingham’s ability to maintain possession is notable. While his passing accuracy (88.7%) doesn’t quite match that of fellow midfielders like Kroos (94.3%), Tchouaméni (92.8%), Camavinga (90.9%), Valverde (90.7%), and Modric (90.0%), it’s important to consider that he operates in more congested areas higher up the pitch, making his accuracy still impressive.

While Bellingham currently plays in a more attacking role, it will be intriguing to observe if his defensive capabilities are utilized more in the future. In the Bundesliga for the 2022-23 season, only five players attempted more tackles than him (with a 55.3% success rate). However, in his four games for Madrid, he has attempted just three tackles, winning two of them.

What’s truly advantageous for Real Madrid is having a player like Bellingham who has demonstrated his prowess as an attacking asset but also possesses the adaptability to transform into a different yet equally effective type of midfielder when the situation demands it.

Jude Bellinghams XG After 4 Games Image via Opta Analyst A Look at The Numbers: How Well Jude Bellingham Has Settled in Real Madrid So Far?
Jude Bellingham’s XG After 4 Games, Image via Opta Analyst

Currently, Jude Bellingham is representing England on international duty, and it’s undoubtedly a challenge for Gareth Southgate to strategize how to make the most of this young and exceptionally talented player for the Three Lions.

Bellingham is a gem of a player, adeptly handling the pressures of performing in a pivotal midfield role for the world’s premier club. While his tenure may not be everlasting, we can anticipate witnessing his brilliance in a white jersey for the foreseeable future.

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