Jude Bellingham, just 17 years old, has been called up by the England national team for the first time.
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Bellingham, who joined Borussia Dortmund from Birmingham City in the summer, is the extremely talented two-way central midfielder the Three Lions have been calling out for.
No pressure, Jude.
Bellingham was called up for England’s friendly against the Republic of Ireland and UEFA Nations League games against Iceland and Belgium to replace the injured James Ward-Prowse.
Some would call it a surprise, but anyone who has watched him develop at Dortmund and with the England U21 side won’t be surprised. He was named the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for September and has slotted in seamlessly in Germany’s top-flight.
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Jude Bellingham, alongside Jadon Sancho, Gio Reyna and Erling Haaland, is a key cog in Dortmund’s young machine and his eye for a pass, smoothness on the ball and ability to dictate the tempo of a game is exceptional.
He is 17. Last season he was playing for Birmingham City in England’s second tier, a brutal, physical league, and he dominated games.
Bellingham will be protected by Southgate and the England national team but there’s no doubting he will be in many more squads to come. In the central midfield areas they have Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson and Harry Winks. All very similar players who are more adept at winning the ball back and using it sensibly rather than being blessed with creativity and flair.
That is why Bellingham’s inclusion at such a young age makes it clear that Southgate wants him, alongside Phil Foden, to be the players with an x-factor that can take England over the line at a major tournament.
They are solid at the back and have tons of talent in attack with Sancho, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford as forward options, to just to name a few.
In midfield there is definitely a spot for a dynamic box-to-box man and Bellingham is surely being lined up to be that star for Southgate’s side at EURO 2021 next summer.
Here’s a look at his story so far, as one of the brightest young talents in the game is about to make his bow for the Three Lions.
This is: Jude Bellingham. 💫
"I've come a long way, there's been a lot of hard work and a lot of graft, I can't wait to see what happens in the future.”
— adidas UK (@adidasUK) November 7, 2020