There are a couple of young English No. 10s who are taking the world by storm at the moment. First there is Jude Bellingham of Real Madrid, who has made a whirlwind start for the La Liga giants. And then, there is James Maddison – yet another summer signing – who has been performing consistently for Tottenham Hotspur.
Bellingham in rampant form for Real Madrid
On current form, there is probably no better player than the 20-year-old Bellingham in the world. Starting his career as a holding midfielder, Bellingham has adorned the role of a No. 10 exceptionally well for the most decorated club in the world.
He has a crazy eight goals and three assists after only nine games this season, which is an amazing return by any standard. It is quite scary that he is only 20 and has a lot of time to improve further. He is a big and strong lad already, and will improve further physically, too.
What has been a revelation this season is Bellingham’s finishing ability that makes him an even more dangerous proposition. He has gelled well with the likes of Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo, and came up with a virtuoso performance against Napoli that saw him score a goal and register an assist.
There have been English players like Steve McManaman, David Beckham, Michael Owen and Kieran Trippier, who have plied their trade in La Liga, but Bellingham promises to surpass them all if he keeps on plating like this.
Maddison the next big thing in Premier League?
Maddison’s numbers are not as jaw-dropping as Bellingham’s, but he still has two goals and four assists from seven matches, as his new club is only a point adrift of table-toppers Manchester City. His passing ability is better than Bellingham’s, though his finishing from inside the opposition penalty box is not quite up to the same standard.
Maddison is not quite the same physical specimen like the Real Madrid man, but his silken touch makes him a better player to watch. His work-rate is quite good too, as he keeps dropping down into his own half repeatedly to create moves from there.
His ability to find his colleagues with diagonal passes has been a treat to watch this season. His combination with forward Son Heung-Min is one of the most potent ones in the Premier League. Maddison has been one of the primary reasons why Tottenham has been able to beat Manchester United and Liverpool and draw with Arsenal in their wonderful start to the season.
Nice problem to have for Gareth Southgate
Ironically though, neither Bellingham nor Maddison have quite been able to replicate their club-form while playing for the English national team. Maddison has recently earned his first international cap, and should be able to contribute significantly in the future.
As for Bellingham, he had already impressed in last year’s FIFA World Cup that made Real Madrid take notice. He pips Maddison for the spot of the No. 10 for the national side at the moment, but his ability to play on the left flank means that both of them can actually start together for England. Southgate will, however, enjoy having such problems while finalizing his playing XI.