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16th Jun 2024

Jude Bellingham called up to Southgate’s new-look England leadership group

Harry Warner

Jude Bellingham

The midfield maestro is mature beyond his years

Jude Bellingham has been called up to Gareth Southgate’s new-look England leadership group that will now be made up of four core players.

A key characteristic of Southgate’s England squads over the last eight years, members of the group are expected to maintain standards in the squad to aid Southgate in creating harmony within the camp.

With the likes of Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling not picked and Harry Maguire missing through injury, Southgate has found himself with a younger and less experienced England team at his disposal.

The 53-year-old has now decided to put his trust in Jude Bellingham to be his latest enforcer alongside captain Harry Kane, Declan Rice and the new vice-captain Kyle Walker.

Southgate has decided to change the environment around Harry Kane with this new leadership group to try and get the best out his squad as well as communicate effectively with his players.

The England manager said: “We’ve actually put a small leadership group together for this tournament now with Harry, Kyle Walker, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham.

“There is a different dynamic to this group, there are a lot of younger players. It’s always important to know what the players are thinking. They have good views, good experiences.

“I want the opinions of the four boys but also they are involved with different age groups in the squad so they will be able to pick up what is going on with the different age groups of the squad. We’ve got 26, it’s not easy to keep track of how everybody is every day.

“You want to open up that dialogue. Sometimes with young players, they’re normally going to be a little bit more reluctant to approach the manager and talk about what they are thinking so you want a sense of what’s going on on the ground.”

Walker and Rice are already well-respected members of the England squad while Bellingham’s addition to the leadership group is symptomatic of the astronomical rise of the 20-year-old England midfielder.

He signed and starred for Real Madrid last season, winning the Champions League and the club’s player of the season.

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