Jude Bellingham has enjoyed a sensational start to life at Real Madrid following his €103 million (£88m) transfer from Borussia Dortmund.
The spotlight has been shining intensely on the 20-year-old since the Spanish club made him one of the most expensive English players of all time. But he has taken the pressure of it all in his stride so far.
The former Birmingham City youngster has scored in each of his first four games for Los Blancos, something only three players – Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cesc Fabregas for Barcelona, and Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid – have previously achieved in La Liga in the 21st century.
Bellingham has already become a central figure in the England team. He became the country’s youngest international to feature in a major tournament at just 17 when he appeared at Euro 2020, and played in every one of the Three Lions’ games at the Fifa World Cup last year.
He is set to win his 25th cap on Saturday afternoon when England face Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier in Wroclaw, Poland. Speaking ahead of the game, Gareth Southgate believes that Bellingham has made an instant impact at Madrid because he is exceptional mature and emotionally intelligent for his age.
“He has a huge maturity and he has a good emotional intelligence,” Southgate told the media. “He has had to go into a dressing room and an interesting dynamic where some world-class players are there, and he is there to ultimately take their place.
“But knowing him, he will have approached them off the pitch with huge respect and will have gone into the training sessions and the games ready to compete and show what a good player he is.
“He found that balance brilliantly when he first joined us and I have no doubt that is what has happened while he has been there.”
Iconic Duos – Mahrez and Vardy inspire Premier League fairytale