Gareth Southgate admits problem with Jude Bellingham’s England position

Gareth Southgate has admitted Jude Bellingham’s place in the England side will be slightly different to where he’s successfully played with Real Madrid.

The 20-year-old made his England debut when he was just 17 and has since been an integral member of the squad.

In Spain, he is highly regarded for his scoring ability, incredible energy levels and desire to play the ball forward. However, when he returns to the England camp, his game is forced to change.

England boss Southgate has acknowledged this problem as Bellingham plays as a false nine for his club – a position he cannot occupy alongside Harry Kane for his country.

Jude BellinghamJude Bellingham

Bellingham is a key member of the England squad / Visionhaus/GettyImages

On finding a way to accommodate Bellingham, Southgate said: “Regarding Jude, he is clearly playing as a false nine, so we need a balance between where he is doing well with something different too.”

In previous appearances for England, Bellingham has played in a position deeper on the pitch than he does with Madrid.

With the inclusion of both James Maddison and Cole Palmer in the squad, it’s possible that Southgate could use Bellingham more sparingly or even further back on the pitch in their upcoming friendlies.

Southgate has admitted, however, that he “loves the edge” Bellingham brings, comparing him to figures like Roy Keane.

“I think with some of the great players that play with a mentality he has, I’m thinking [Steven] Gerrard, [Patrick] Vieira and Keane, they compete. They don’t like losing, they love winning. They haul the team up by its boots at those moments and they are often on that line,” Southgate added.

England will first face Brazil on 23 March at Wembley before taking on Belgium three days later.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.