England's Bellingham 'has everything' but now comes biggest test yet




 

Jude Bellingham's outstanding display in England's 3-0 World Cup win over Senegal announced the 19-year-old's arrival among the global elite but now comes the biggest test so far of his young career.

Much will be expected of the supremely talented central midfielder when Gareth Southgate's side face world champions France in Saturday's quarter-final in Qatar.

Bellingham helped create the opening two goals as England swatted aside Senegal in the last 16 on Sunday and the teenager delivered a fine all-round performance that left seasoned observers searching for superlatives.

"I think he's a fantastic player. He has everything with and without the ball, presses really well, gets around the pitch, tackles," said captain Harry Kane.

"With the ball he can run, he can take players on, he can play a through-ball and as you saw today he was really important with our goal," said the England striker.

"I like Jude a lot, he's a really good person, he's mature for his age and he's got great leadership skills as well," Kane added.

High praise indeed, but it is unlikely to go to his head -- Bellingham is accustomed to accolades and well used to defying age expectations.

- 'He has everything' -

At 16 years and 38 days old, the son of a police sergeant became the youngest player to debut in the first team at his boyhood club Birmingham City and 25 days later became the youngest player to score for the team.

When he was sold to Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of 25 million euros he became the most expensive 17-year-old in the history of the game and promptly became the German club's youngest scorer.

He became a full England international in November 2020, with only Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott having played for the country at a younger age.

At last year's Euros, Bellingham became the youngest England player to have played at a major tournament and, at that time, the youngest player from any country to have featured in the European Championship.

"I've not seen a young midfielder perform like that for years," former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane, now a television analyst, said after the Senegal match.

"Usually you see that from a world-class player who's 26 or 27. Everything he does in the game... we talk about his physicality, but it's what goes on in his brain. He's got that maturity and decision-making."

Keane, who is notoriously hard to impress, added that "the kid has everything".

Keane's old club were very close to signing Bellingham before he moved to Dortmund and this World Cup is only going to increase the interest among the top teams in Europe -- and drive up Bellingham's price.

Another former United captain-turned-pundit, Gary Neville, was impressed by the way Bellingham has coped on the biggest stage without any hint of being overawed.

"It's the maturity and fearlessness that I can't get my head around. I watched England players play for England for many years and the weight of the shirt was enormous," said Neville.

"He just doesn't feel it all, he looks like he belongs out there."

- Biggest test -

It is a sign of the confidence England have in Bellingham that against Senegal he was chosen to be left back to cover the defence when the central defenders advanced for a corner.

Southgate, who has consistently been willing to give opportunities to young players, admitted that even he has been taken aback by the speed of Bellingham's development.

"I don't think we could have predicted how quickly Bellingham could mature. In the last five months that has gone to another level," he said.

But now comes the real test at the World Cup for Bellingham and England, against Didier Deschamps' world champions France and their outstanding striker Kylian Mbappe.

It is a challenge Bellingham believes he and England can rise to.

"We've shown we can score goals, we can be clinical when it matters," said the teenager.

"We scored at really good times and we showed we can keep a clean sheet again. If we want to win the next one that will be really important."

It will indeed. But just as important for England will be whether their wunderkind can step up once again.

sev/pst

COMMENTS

More Related News

Clash at the Coliseum demonstrates that in NASCAR 2.0, racing is just part of show
Clash at the Coliseum demonstrates that in NASCAR 2.0, racing is just part of show

Justin Haley was fastest at 67.099 mph in Saturday's qualifying ahead of Sunday's Clash at the Coliseum, where 'it's racing, but it's so much more.'

Housebound Jordanian football fan a social media star
Housebound Jordanian football fan a social media star

Having spent most of his life housebound due to a medical condition, Jordanian Amer Abu Nawas's love of football has propelled him to social media stardom.Abu Nawas's own family do their best to provide him with a comfortable life.

Senegal complete African double by winning CHAN shootout
Senegal complete African double by winning CHAN shootout

Senegal completed a double when they beat hosts Algeria 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw to win the African Nations Championship (CHAN) final on Saturday.  The local-based team triumphed a year after the full Senegal team, including stars like Sadio Mane, beat Egypt on penalties to win the premier competition, the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ten Hag silent on Greenwood after charges against Man Utd player dropped
Ten Hag silent on Greenwood after charges against Man Utd player dropped

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag declined to comment on Mason Greenwood on Friday, 24 hours after criminal charges against the 21-year-old forward were dropped.England forward Greenwood, who has two and a half years left on his contract, has been suspended from both training and playing for United since his arrest in January 2022.

'No excuses' for Arsenal in title bid after January spending: Arteta

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal can have no excuses if they do not win the Premier League title for the first time in two decades after strengthening their squad during the January transfer window.Arteta was asked on Friday about whether there would now be no excuses if Arsenal failed to get over the line.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • 링크모음
    (2022-12-06 10:19:32Z)

    There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way.

    REPLY
  • 먹튀인증
    (2023-02-05 10:14:36Z)

    obviously like your web site however you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome to inform the reality nevertheless I’ll definitely come again again.

    REPLY

Top News: Soccer