Match-winning Bellingham attributes have 'taken him to another level' - says Holland
England assistant manager Steve Holland has heaped praise on Jude Bellingham following the teenager's impressive displays at the World Cup.FotMob - 2 months ago
Jude Bellingham has a "match-winning ability" that is taking his game to another level, according to England assistant manager Steve Holland.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been one of the Three Lions' standout performers in their run to the World Cup quarter-finals, where they face reigning champions France on Saturday.
Bellingham launched England's campaign with the opening goal in the 6-2 thrashing of Iran, before assisting Jordan Henderson during another impressive display in the last-16 win over Senegal.
The 19-year-old leads his team-mates for dribbles completed (six) and possessions won (23) in Qatar, while only Luke Shaw (72) has bettered his tally of 48 passes ending in the final third.
Holland is well aware of the qualities and attributes possessed by top players following his time at Chelsea, where he served as assistant manager under the likes of Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Rafael Benitez and Guus Hiddink, and England's number two believes those traits are evident in Bellingham.
"He's unique. When you're categorising really top players – I was lucky enough in eight years at Chelsea to experience a few of those – there are the physical attributes, there are the technical attributes," Holland said.
"My experience would be that what makes the top, top ones is the mentality – the self-belief, the confidence, the drive, the ambition every day to push and be competitive.
"There were a few at Chelsea during my time that I felt were always there every time in training – [Ashley] Cole, [Frank] Lampard, [Didier] Drogba, [John] Terry.
"There were others: players who perhaps weren't super gifted physically or even super gifted technically – although on a high level – but the mental aspect of it took them to a different level of performance.
"Jude has those attributes. There has been an evolution physically over the last 12 months. We watch every match he plays, either live or by going over the footage.
"We know him really well, and there has definitely been an evolution physically because he is still developing. It has taken him to another level.
"There are only three things you can do in football: stop goals, make goals, score goals. That's how you contribute.
"Jude can do all of those things and, recently, he has begun to score goals, which is the bit that makes the biggest players big. It's a match-winning ability that he is adding to his game."