Gareth Southgate on Jude Bellingham: “Jude reminds me of Steven Gerrard.”

England national team boss Gareth Southgate has given an interview to L’Equipe. Southgate will oversee his fourth major tournament with the Three Lions next month with the Euros in Germany. It may be his last considering his contract as England manager will expire next December and that Manchester United may be keen to hire him. The 53-year-old coach reflected on the current crop at his disposal with Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham (20) at its center. The former Borussia Dortmund has taken La Liga by storm since his €100m move to Spain.

The conservations I have with him were about the fact he is now living in a different world“, Southgate said about Bellingham. “He is still very young but he handles it very well. But he can’t live as a young 20-year-old man who could go anywhere and do anything. I’ve played with David Beckham, who lived in a different world too. This is Jude’s world now.” According to Southgate, the former Birmingham City youth product is very well aware of this and he doesn’t seem to suffer from it.

‘Through their mentality, they influence their teammates’

Southgate also compares Bellingham to another great England midfielder, with whom the England manager played with the Three Lions. “Jude reminds me of Steven Gerrard. Even when the opponents give the feeling to take control of the game, those are players that can turn it on its head. Through their mentality, they influence their teammates.

Southgate adds that, despite his age, Bellingham is already showing leadership credentials with England. “It transpires by the way he plays. Jude is very respectful of older players like Jordan Henderson or Harry Kane. When they miss out on the Belgium friendly game, in the dressing room, we heard Jude and Declan Rice’s voices.” Southgate understands that Bellingham has shown the same level of respect to the Real Madrid legends the likes of Luka Modric or Toni Kroos. “Jude knows he can learn from them and, at the same time, he wants to take their place.

Gareth Southgate believes that Jude Bellingham’s fast progression may have been facilitated by his early exit from England. “Living in other countries has been good for him. Everyone in England knows how good he is. But when he plays international football, he creates excitement, which would not have been possible if he played for a Premier League club.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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