England head coach Gareth Southgate has heaped praise on Jude Bellingham after naming the Borussia Dortmund midfielder in his squad for the upcoming European Championships.
Jude Bellingham was named in England’s 26-man squad for the Euros on Tuesday. The midfielder, who joined Borussia Dortmund from Birmingham City last summer, was selected in the England squad ahead of a number of established Premier League players including James Ward-Prowse and Jesse Lingard.
Gareth Southgate spoke about his reasons for selecting Bellingham at a press conference on Tuesday, and added that he is not just going to the Euros to gain experience.
“Jude is phenomenal,” Southgate said. “Just in training in the last couple of days, to have a 17-year-old, who wants to compete with senior players, not only has the technique, but the competitiveness and maturity, he’s a hugely exciting player.”
“He’s going to be an important player for England. We’re not just taking him for the experience. The experience is going to be enormous for him and for future England managers because I don’t see anything in his character that means he won’t succeed.”
“But his performance levels with Dortmund in the big Champions League games were the things that really struck us.”
Bellingham’s call-up to England’s Euro 2020 squad comes on the back of an impressive debut campaign with Borussia Dortmund. The 17 year old quickly became a regular starter for the Black and Yellows, and made a total of 46 appearances across all competitions this season. He also scored four goals, including one in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester City.
Bellingham was rewarded for his performances with a maiden England call-up last year. And he became the third youngest player to ever play for the Three Lions when he made his debut against the Republic of Ireland in November. The 17 year old will now be looking to cap off his incredible season by showing his quality for England at the Euros.
Bellingham will be joined in the England squad by Borussia Dortmund teammate Jadon Sancho. The winger has been in sublime form since the turn of the year and could have a key role to play at the Euros.