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Has Jobe Bellingham’s rise to prominence been a surprise?

The summer signing from Birmingham has made a huge impact in red and white, so has he already surpassed expectations during the early months of the season?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Andy Thompson says...

Yes. I wasn’t expecting him to cement his place so quickly.

I thought that it would take a few months for him to settle in and that his career in red and white would begin with a bit-part role. That felt like a sensible idea for a young recruit with a plan of starting the odd game but mainly coming off the bench to begin with.

How I was wrong!

Jobe has been excellent for us, starting every game and is deservedly one of the first names on the team sheet each week.

It still amazes me that he’s only just turned eighteen, because his physique, technical ability and the maturity he shows on the ball would suggest he’s a seasoned Championship performer and not a teenager who can only now legally drink. If he keeps developing at the rate he is, we’ll have a hell of a player on our hands.

Unfortunately for Jobe, he’ll always be in the shadow of his brother but he’s already shown that he can handle that pressure and is showing signs he can develop into a player in his own right.

He certainly has all the characteristics and qualities to go to the very top and I very much hope it’s with us. Every game I’ve seen of us this season, he’s impressed; he can break up play, has a brilliant range of passing and an eye for a goal.

Personally, I think we now have a situation where Tony Mowbray needs to think about resting Jobe at some point in the near future.

He’s been superb but we need to make sure his development and long term fitness is prioritised and resting him at key points over the season will be necessary.

In the meantime, it’s pleasing to see another young player make his mark in this exciting and dynamic young team.

Sunderland v Southampton - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Will Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

Joseph Tulip says...

I think Jobe was always going to become a key player for us, for two reasons.

First and foremost, his talent is undoubted and it was seen as a major coup when we secured his signature in the summer.

Secondly, he arrived almost instantly as a household name given the global status of his older brother, and the media spotlight was always going to be on him perhaps more than most.

It’s clear that despite his tender years, Jobe came to Sunderland to play and it was no surprise to see him go straight into our starting eleven.

He showed his goalscoring credentials with an early brace at the Stadium of Light and in more recent games, he’s played a deeper role in the absence of Pierre Ekwah.

He’s looked mature beyond his years in terms of his calmness on the ball, his range of passing and ability to drive forward and take people on. He’s also physically strong for an eighteen year-old.

Perhaps there’s an assumption that the sibling of an established England international will automatically be a success but equally, it adds pressure to young shoulders.

Jobe’s attitude has been superb. He’s progressing quickly and while I’m not surprised, I’m delighted to see him developing into a fine young player alongside Dan Neil in our fine young side.

Phil West says...

It’s taken me completely by surprise, and I say that as someone who was tremendously excited when we secured his signature during the summer.

He’d been linked with us for some time before the deal was finalised, but when his switch from St Andrews was confirmed, it represented another example of the ‘Sunderland way’- a young player with immense potential and who could make a huge impact in red and white.

Simply put, he’s got everything needed to become a top class player: skill, vision, balance, composure, and a level of football intelligence that’s remarkable for someone so young. He’s also got a degree of self confidence that’s endearing, and this is being reflected in his performances.

When he arrived, I felt that if he made twenty to twenty five appearances for us, that would represent a successful first season, but such has been his impact that he’s borderline undroppable (rotation and/or injuries notwithstanding) and Tony Mowbray clearly trusts him to slot into whichever position is required of him.

In a squad filled with exciting talents, Jobe is shining brightly, and the scary thing is that he’s only going to improve as time goes by. For everyone connected with Sunderland, that’s quite a prospect!

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