Brais Mendez analysis: How Real Sociedad star could be Bayern or Newcastle's 'bargain Bellingham'
Though Brais Mendez is some six years Bellingham's senior, the two share some striking similarities this term. Both are central midfielders by trade and yet both have emerged as proper goal threats, providing crucial strikes for their respective sides.
The two Reals, Sociedad and Madrid, were both in action in the Champions League on Tuesday and both Mendez and Bellingham were once again on the scoresheet. While the 26-year-old can't match the English wonderkid's ridiculous numbers this season, his form has nevertheless been impressive.
Real Sociedad sit fifth in the LaLiga standings and are currently topping their Champions League group ahead of Inter, Salzburg and Benfica. With three goals and an assist in three European outings and two goals and four assists in domestic play, Mendez is his side's most productive player and joint-deadliest finisher alongside captain Mikel Oyarzabal and celebrated magician Takefusa Kubo.
While the San Sebastian outfit have become one of Europe's most interesting and exciting teams since Imanol Alguacil was given the head coaching job, Mendez has quietly become the side's heartbeat - and he should be looked at by some of Europe's elite teams.
Brais Mendez on a big night only leads to him having a great performance. 💫🇪🇸pic.twitter.com/S3uvevobuF
— LaLigaExtra (@LaLigaExtra) October 24, 2023
At 26, Mendez is at the peak of his powers and yet he likely won't fetch anything close to Bellingham's €103 million transfer fee. Therefore, it is only fair to describe him as something of a potential 'bargain Bellingham.'
Under contract until 2028, Mendez may not see out his deal on his current form. Rated at €27.3m by FootballTransfers' in-house Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) algorithm, the Spaniard could conceivably be a sought-after commodity in January.
Consulting data experts SciSports, we can find out which clubs would suit the attacking midfielder best. SciSports collects thousands of data points to generate a 'Club Fit' rating and the results for Mendez are quiet clear.
Real Sociedad and Brais Mendez are already lighting up the Champions League. 💫🇪🇸pic.twitter.com/TXlqNXzOg5
— LaLigaExtra (@LaLigaExtra) October 16, 2023
His best option is Bayern Munich with a rating of 76. Thomas Tuchel has been very clear about his desire to add another midfielder to his side, and although he has been in the market for a defensive-minded player, he surely wouldn't turn his nose up at having his very own Jude Bellingham.
Interestingly, the Premier League side where Mendez would fit in the best is Newcastle United with a rating of 72. Sandro Tonali, a defensive midfielder, has thus far flattered to deceive at St. James' Park and he is now set to be banned for 10 months due to his involvement in the betting scandal rocking Italian football.
The expectation is that the Magpies will dip into the market in January to bring in a new face. Mendez could be an ideal replacement for Tonali, though not a like-for-like one - but he may be more effective (and cheaper) than the €64m Italian.