April 19, 2024

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Sunderland secured an impressive 1-0 victory over Leeds United on Tuesday night and Trai Hume was more ‘crucial’ than Jobe Bellingham in that win.

Bellingham’s strike was the game’s lone goal, as the Englishman nodded past an advancing Illan Meslier at the perfect moment.

The 18-year-old, who started the match as the team’s lone striker against West Bromwich Albion, returned to his central midfield role when Mike Dodds introduced Alex Pritchard as a false nine.

Even though the gifted youth scored the game-winning goal to keep Sunderland in sixth place, Trai Hume, one of his teammates, had a better game that night.

Trai Hume was magnificent in the victory over Leeds

Hume’s performance against the Whites embodied everything he’s about; a ferocious presser of the ball, a machine in the tackle and excellent at sniffing out danger.

The 21-year-old demonstrated the latter when he made a clearance off the line late on, in a moment that was hailed as ‘crucial’ by Sunderland Echo’s Phil Smith and proved pivotal in securing all three points for his side.

Sunderland v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A formidable defender who never backs down from a task and is renowned for his ability to time opponents perfectly limited one of the league’s top wingers to few opportunities.

Perhaps in an attempt to double up on Leeds’ danger players, Daniel James and Crysencio Summerville, Dodds adopted a 3-4-3 formation for this game.

Hume’s strategic choice paid off handsomely as he turned in a defensive performance that reporter Josh Bunting called “outstanding.”

According to Sofascore, he showed his defensive awareness by making four interceptions and three clearances while winning a whopping five of his nine ground duels and flying into five tackles.

How has Trai Hume performed this season?

The Northern Ireland international was, quite simply, a brick wall down the right side for Sunderland and that has been the case throughout this campaign.

In 21 Championship appearances, he ranks in the top 6% against his positional peers for tackles, top 7% for clearances and top 2% for aerials won, as per FBref.

Sunderland supporters tend to fall in love with anyone who shows passion in the shirt and enjoys flying into full-blood challenges which is why he’s slowly becoming a fan-favourite at the Stadium of Light.

Although Bellingham will take the plaudits for his goal, Hume’s magnificent defensive display helped the Black Cats hold onto all three points.

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