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Jude Soonsup-Bell


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Jude Soonsup-Bell, the Chelsea kid who can’t stop scoring

https://theathletic.com/2231610/2020/12/01/soonsup-bell-jude-chelsea/

Jude Soonsup-Bell slices up Barnsley defence and scores outrageous backheel  goal in Youth Cup rout – Thick Accent

When Jude Soonsup-Bell was in primary school, his classmates decided they had to come up with a new rule if their friend was going to continue to play football with them in the playground.

“Jude was only allowed to play with his left foot,” his mother Hannah tells The Athletic. “They couldn’t get the ball off him if he had it on his right foot.”

How Barnsley Under-18s side must have wished they could have come up with a similar stipulation before they faced Chelsea’s exciting academy striker in the FA Youth Cup last weekend. Soonsup-Bell scored four times to help secure an 8-1 victory, the first Chelsea player to achieve the feat in the tournament since Roger Bill 59 years ago.

Being prolific over the course of 90 minutes is not an unusual occurrence for the 16-year-old. Last season he scored 26 goals in all competitions for various Chelsea youth sides in just 17 appearances. So far this campaign, he is the joint-top scorer in the Under-18 Premier League with 11 goals.

He is also making a name for himself at international level, scoring a hat-trick against Spain during an under-16s match earlier this year. Indeed he is England’s second-highest ever scorer at that level, alongside Jadon Sancho, with six goals in seven appearances. To put it further into context, Sancho’s Borussia Dortmund team-mate Jude Bellingham found the net three times in 11 games when he represented them.

This is a player who has already captured the attention of some of Europe’s biggest teams and is being closely watched. It is understood various club scouts are ranking him among the best forwards within his age group and not just in the UK.

No wonder Chelsea are putting things in place to ensure Soonsup-Bell signs his first pro contract when he turns 17 in January. They are still smarting at Jamal Musiala being lured away by Bayern Munich before agreeing professional terms and see Soonsup-Bell as a footballer of similar potential.

There was one strike against Barnsley in particular which showed why they rate him so highly and had the club’s fans buzzing with excitement as footage was shared on social media. After sprinting on to a through ball from Harvey Vale, the forward sprinted past and then cut inside a bemused Barnsley centre-half on the byline, drew keeper Archie Brown and, as more defenders converged, he back-heeled the ball into the corner.

With strict restrictions put in place over how many could attend the fixture because of COVID-19, only father Mike was at Chelsea’s academy stadium in Kingstonian to see it. “I was going crazy (when he saw the goal)!” he says.

Hannah was trying to keep up with what was happening back at home, which was not an easy task with one-year-old daughter Rosie to look after. A loud yell from one of Jude’s two elder brothers, Ruben, who was watching the match online downstairs, grabbed her attention.

“I heard Ruben shouting, ‘Oh my goodness! Mum, come have a look at this’. I came running with Rosie from upstairs and he showed me Jude’s backheeler. It was a great moment.”

The family have grown accustomed to seeing their youngest son do something out of the ordinary with a ball at his feet since he was a toddler. The eldest Zac and Ruben showed great promise too, but Jude had a knack of stealing the limelight.

For example, the two older boys were playing at a kids’ tournament in Calne, the Wiltshire town in which they live. While that was going on, Jude was off to the side of the pitch having a kickabout with other children who had come along.

Hannah adds: “Jude was only about four or five. I remember a man coming up to me asking, ‘Is that your son over there?’ He pointed to Jude playing with some boys in the corner. He said, ‘He’s just scored 13 goals against my 13-year-old son and my boy was trying!’ That man watched Jude’s matches for a while after that because he was so amazed by it.”

It was Swindon Town who noticed Jude’s ability first. Ruben was already part of their academy, but the younger sibling caught the staff’s attention as he played next to his father and was asked to join in. A contract was signed when he turned nine.

Mike had hopes of becoming a professional footballer himself when he was growing up. He was also at Swindon as a teenager and attracted interest from Manchester City and Everton at one point, but a career never materialised.

Naturally, he wanted more for his sons and Jude showed a great hunger to learn. Mike reveals: “I’d ask him, ‘Can you do this trick?’ He’d then go out in the back garden and wouldn’t come back inside until he’d done it. If I told him to go and do 2,000 keepy-uppies he wouldn’t come back until he’d done it. He was that determined.”

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There was another reason for that. Every child has a footballer they idolise growing up and Soonsup-Bell’s choice was the embodiment of hard work, as much as skill.

“It’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” Mike and Hannah say in unison after being asked who their son admires most. “If you go on Jude’s phone,” Mike continues, “there’s a picture of Ronaldo. Whenever he is on YouTube he looks at Ronaldo. He is always studying Ronaldo. That is who he loves. He had the Real Madrid kit when he was younger because of him.”

By the time Soonsup-Bell had turned 12, Mike could see his son was developing so fast, he needed a step up from what Swindon could provide. Trials were arranged, with Swindon’s permission, at Chelsea, Southampton and Reading. After just a few sessions, Chelsea had already seen enough to offer terms.

Swindon, who had hoped to keep him because he was still under contract, were paid an undisclosed sum in compensation. “Chelsea got themselves a bargain,” Mike says with a chuckle.

Not that it was all smooth sailing to begin with. Like his dad, Soonsup-Bell initially saw himself as an attacking midfielder, but one Chelsea coach saw it differently.

“He was put in defence once in a game against Manchester City,” Mike says. “I had to go in and say something to the club. I told them, ‘You can’t play Jude as a defender, he’s frustrated. You have to play him higher up the pitch. The higher you do, the better he will be’. The next game they played him as a striker and since then they haven’t looked back.”

Chelsea FC on Twitter: "The breakthrough moment! 🎯 We're currently in  control of this Youth Cup third round tie thanks to an early brace from  Jude Soonsup-Bell. 🔵 2-0 ⚪ ['31] #CFCU18…

Neither has Soonsup-Bell. One Chelsea coach has described Soonsup-Bell’s approach to finishing as “ice cold”. He doesn’t overcelebrate or get carried away. It’s about getting the job done, simply taking one chance at a time regardless of whether it’s his first or third of the contest.

That doesn’t mean he is lacking in emotion. After being used as a substitute in the semi-final, Soonsup-Bell was disappointed not to get on during the FA Youth Cup Final defeat by Manchester City last month. His first start in the competition was against Barnsley for the 2020-21 competition and he wanted to prove a point.

To further demonstrate how focused he is, it is understood the teenager is using the achievements of former Chelsea youth strikers as a target to beat. Current first-team striker Tammy Abraham had a record of 72 goals in 102 appearances for Chelsea Under-18s, Under-19s, Under-21s and Under-23s between 2013-16. Dominic Solanke, who is now at Bournemouth, scored 65 in 83.

Like with all academy prospects, the threat of Chelsea signing other prodigies in the same position is always there. At the start of the year, the club paid a reported £539,000 to Tromso for 16-year-old Bryan Fiabema.

“He is not worried about the competition,” Mike insists.

“It’s good to keep Jude’s feet on the ground, to have competition,” Hannah interjects. “He doesn’t say anything negative about other players. He said to me, ‘I really can’t stand parents who say things about other players because we are all in this, trying to get there’. He will never say anything bad about anyone.”

There are others showing good progress ahead of him too. Take Armando Broja, for example. The 19-year-old is doing well on a season-long loan at Vitesse Arnhem, so too is 22-year-old Ike Ugbo at Cercle Brugge. If Jude continues his rapid progress, the plan is for him to try and go out on loan himself when he reaches 18.

Before my conversation with the proud parents comes to an end, the origin of Jude’s surname comes up. Hannah wanted her late Thai father’s surname Soonsup to live on as she is one of four daughters. “In Thailand, the name means ‘wealth centre’ or ‘become rich’,” she explains.

Jude certainly has a wealth of talent.

 

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He is very talented. Hope Chelsea gives him maybe some minutes here and there ane extend his contract . Maybe he gets some minutes in our last match in CL because it is only a matter of time until Bayern will try stealing him lol. If we give him now a little bit of trust, he might extent his contract. His contract expires 2022.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have just watched Soonsup Bell and he seems to me like he is the real deal. Quite tall, his technical abilities really impress me and his passing looks good. Still only 16 years old. Sky is the limit for your youth

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19 hours ago, killer1257 said:

I am currently watching our youth play and he already scored a high level goal in the third minute. He might be even better than Broja

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we have so many great young players just starting to bubble up again

fucking amazing academy

so so hope Xavier Mbuyamba is the real deal at CB

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1 hour ago, killer1257 said:

 

 


Only a matter of time until Bayern comes trying to steal our next big talent

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Fuck Bayern

the presenter is Mahrez Bettache btw

https://stainestownfootballclub.co.uk/player/mahrez-bettache/

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