Who is Jude Bellingham? The £50m-rated Birmingham City wonderkid set to face Sheffield Wednesday this weekend

Sheffield Wednesday take on Birmingham City at St Andrew's this weekend, in what should be a fiery encounter as rivals Garry Monk and Pep Clotet lock horns again as both sides look revive their push for the play-offs.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 11:30 am
(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

In stark contrast to the Owls, their opponents are in excellent form heading into the match, and haven't lost a game since New Year's Day. Central to their progression has been the influence of teenage sensation Jude Bellingham, and here's all you need to know about the highly-rated youngster:

Who wants to sign him?

If you ask Pep Clotet, everyone. Scouts from across Europe are said to have jetted in to take in his recent, with his 'wonderkid' reputation sparking the interest of a number of elite clubs.

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Manchester United are the current 2/1 favorites with the bookies to sign him in the summer, but the likes of Chelsea and Bayern Munich are also said to be among the front-runners.

There's no chance he'll be playing second tier football next season, that's for sure.

What position does he play in?

He's proven highly versatile in his debut senior season, and has been utilised on both wings, and even as a forward on occasion.

Primarily, however, he is used as a central, box-to-box style midfielder. His technical skills and positioning, for a player of his age, are phenomenal, and his impressive physique means he's rarely bullied off the ball.

How did he get on against Wednesday last time out?

He played 83 minutes of the 1-1 draw at Hillsborough last November, and was substituted shortly after Kadeem Harris' late equaliser.

His short passing accuracy was decent (76%), but his long passes were wayward, with none of the four he made finding their intended target.

Of the 16 duels he was involved in, he emerged successful from 50% of the challenges, with one leading to a goal-scoring opportunity for his side.

What are his goals and assist stats like?

He's made two assists and scored four goals so far this season, the highlight being a beautifully-taken finish against Leeds United.

Who's he been likened to?

Dele Alli seems the obvious example; a young, dynamic midfielder thriving at the Championship at a tender age, there's every chance that Bellingham will get a top tier move this summer, and potentially break into the England squad while still in his teens.

Any international caps?

England have been cautious not to fast-track the youngster through the ranks too quickly, and have so far only exposed him to U15, U16, and U17 football.

He captained the U17s in their Syrenka Cup-winning campaign back in September, and was named the Player of the Tournament for his efforts.

How can Wednesday combat their opponent?

Aerially, he's not the best. Wigan Athletic spotted this and exploited it brilliantly in their 3-2 win at St Andrews last month, putting the youngster under pressure and winning six out of seven of the aerial challenges against him.