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Has Jobe Got the Potential to Reach the Heights of Jude?

’50 first team appearances as a second year scholar. It’s a decent start’ Jobe’s father understatedly tweeted after his sons 50th senior appearance aged of just 18

Has Jobe Got the Potential to Reach the Heights of Jude?


“50 first team appearances as a second year scholar. It’s a decent start’ Jobe’s father, Mark, understatedly tweeted after his youngest son made his 50th senior appearance at the stripling age of just 18. But with Real Madrid superstar and Ballon d’Or favourite Jude Bellingham as an older brother, it can be easy to ignore how comfortably Jobe has transitioned into men’s professional football.


Jude, three years senior to Jobe, already has the world at his feet. Winning the UEFA Golden Boy award in 2023 and having the English national media purring at not just his almost Zidane esque eloquence displayed on the biggest stage, but his humility, leadership skills, and the way he seemingly remains grounded despite arguably starting his career in a more sensational way that any English player has ever done before.


Settled upbringing


It is important to notice that while Jobe, at his tender age, has not dazzled on the global stage, he has many of the same personality traits admired about Jude and experienced the same settled childhood his Real Madrid brother accredited for his early success.


Speaking in a 2020 documentary with Birmingham City, the club where the brothers rose through the youth ranks to make their debut, Jude cited loving parents, the strong emphasis they placed on the brothers schooling education, and the freedom to express himself creatively helped round him as a person.


Teachers and coaches shared gushing reviews of the Bellingham parents, Mark and Denise, for their intelligence and dedication to helping their sons. Coaches claimed they were not invasive, as many parents of academy starlets can be, but desperate to learn as much about the industry to help guide their sons through the early stages of their careers.


Clever planning


As evidenced by Jude’s carefully curated career, transfers have been made at the right times and for the right reasons to clubs that will facilitate development. Jobe will benefit equally from his parents’ guidance and knowledge of the industry to make the correct moves.


We can already see this coming to fruition after the youngster left Birmingham City for a fresh start with Sunderland last summer. Then manager Tony Mowbray had built a reputation in recent years for playing expansive football, giving opportunities to young talents, and allowing them to make mistakes.


Upon arrival at Sunderland, it was clear that Jobe wanted to build his own legacy and break free from the looming shadow of his Real Madrid brother, opting to accompany his no.7 jersey with Jobe rather than Bellingham. Undoubtedly a move not done out of any disrespect towards his family, but an enticement of the dedication to prove himself in his own right and not simply be the younger brother to Jude.


Progress at Sunderland


So far, the younger Bellingham brother is moving along the right track. This season Jobe has managed 4 goals in his 25 Championship appearances, displaying versatility in various tactical roles such as operating as a false 9, a traditional striker, and even dropping into deeper midfield areas. While, perhaps, Jobe would like to claim a position and make it his own, he possesses a similar range of physical and technical attributes his brother, which made it difficult for BVB coaches to work out the area he would best flourish in.


What stands out most to former manager Tony Mowbray is Jude’s eagerness to learn ‘His greatest asset is he wants to learn. He’s 17 but he asks questions every day of the coaches – why am I doing this? Where do I go? What do you want me to do? He’s a joy to work with really and I’m just so pleased he’s scored some goals and helped the team win.’, the 60-year-old former Sunderland manager suggested.


So, how far can Jobe go?


While Jobe would like to add more goals to his game, at 18 he’s made an impressive start. His list of admirers is growing, Tottenham Hotspur are monitoring his progress, and Real Madrid are reportedly considering adding a second Bellingham to their collection. Jobe has all the right traits but is still very young and raw, so time will tell just how far he can go.