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Pep: Jude's focus is a big help to development

Jude Bellingham in action at Hillsborough.
Jude Bellingham in action at Hillsborough.

He does have that ability to focus on one game at a time only and try to get better for the next game, even better for the next one and even better for the next one

Pep Clotet.

Jude Bellingham is taking 'giant steps' every time he plays, says Pep Clotet.

And the teenager’s desire to improve, allied to his teammates' help and support, is a major factor in his continued involvement.

Bellingham has started the last eight games for Blues.

And his performances have been such that sometimes you forget there's a 16-year-old out there on the pitch.

At Sheffield Wednesday, Bellingham's display in all facets of the central midfielder's art were highly impressive.

He was in a role alongside Ivan Sunjic, as the 'sitting' pair in a 4-2-3-1, but was also breaking the lines and going forward.

"He is making giant steps every time he plays a game," says Clotet, who made a special point of walking onto the Hillsborough pitch with Bellingham after the final whistle to congratulate him and offer advice.

"At Sheffield Wednesday not only he played as a good midfielder, but he played as a good leader as well.

"He understood the game perfectly. He had to work a lot defensively. He had a lot of running to do as well. And he never missed any opportunity to help the team go forward and attack.

"He was very responsible as soon as that attack didn't become more concrete. He would track back and get onto his defensive duties.

"He is playing with a lot of maturity that I hope will only keep growing, of course."

Asked how far Bellingham could go, Clotet says it is too early to say.

"I think the way that Jude handles himself in his own performances is the right way because it is very difficult to know the roof of something.

"But he does have that ability to focus on one game at a time only and try to get better for the next game, even better for the next one and even better for the next one.

"Now, I see Jude doing much better than at the beginning.

"He hasn't reached that roof and obviously he won't reach it until he's older because he will grow physically. But I think we have a very good player."

Clotet adds: "You know what I like as well? Important players in the team and the Club, like David Davis, who plays in a similar position, are seeing Jude growing and growing and they are on top of him, helping him with details, supporting him.

"I like the fact that they value what Jude is doing and helping him in this process. It is very healthy. The fact we have a squad and Club that is taking care of our own players is a good sign for the future."

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