Football News

Jobe Bellingham starting to emerge from his record-equalling brother’s shadow

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:30, 12 September 2023 | Updated: 13:17, 14 September 2023

Jobe Bellingham has been named Sunderland Player of the Month for August.

The 17-year-old midfielder joined the Black Cats from boyhood club Birmingham City in the summer.

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He subsequently featured in Sunderland’s opening four Championship matches, starting each of them.

Rotherham at home was a standout performance as Bellingham netted both goals in their 2-1 victory. On that same day, older brother Jude bagged a brace for Real Madrid as they ran out 3-1 winners at Almería. It was his third of this La Liga campaign, with two more goals following.

Given the continual excellence of Los Blanco’s latest hero, Jobe made a conscious decision before the season got underway to change the name written on the back of his shirt. This even required Sunderland to seek approval from the English Football League.

“I think he’s trying to create his own identity,” manager Tony Mowbray said. “He doesn’t want to live off the back of his brother’s name; he wants to be the footballer that he is and show people what he can do.”

Jude’s breathtaking start in Madrid underlines Mowbray’s point. Bellingham’s latest effort — a stoppage-time winner against Getafe before the recent international break — equalled Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid record of scoring in his first four La Liga fixtures.

Furthermore, only two other players have managed this feat in the 21st century, those being Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Barcelona, 2009) and Cesc Fàbregas (Barcelona, 2011).