Jude Bellingham Wins First England Call-Up

Jude Bellingham, 17, has been brought into the England squad after Gareth Southgate lost two players to injury.

Borussia Dortmund rising star Jude Bellingham has been called up to the England squad for the first time.

The 17-year-old has been brought into Gareth Southgate’s set-up after injuries to Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

Bellingham was initially in the Under-21 squad but will now link up with the senior side ahead of matches with the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland.

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford will report for duty on Thursday for further assessment on an injury sustained in the 3-1 win over Everton last Saturday.

Bellingham has impressed in his first season in the Bundesliga since joining from Birmingham City last year.

The midfielder has registered one assist in his six league appearances in 2020-21 but ranks highly compared to other players under the age of 18 in Europe’s top-five leagues this term.

He has attempted more passes (292) than any player within that age range and has a completion rate of 86 per cent, which puts him second.

Bellingham has quickly taken to Lucien Favre’s high-pressing, attacking style at Dortmund. He is fourth for dribble success rate (58.3 per cent) among players under 18 to attempt at least 10, while he has made more tackles (12) than any other.

If Bellingham makes his debut during the next three matches, he would become the third-youngest player to make a senior appearance for England, behind Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott.

England face the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Wembley on Thursday before facing Belgium in the Nations League on Sunday in Leuven.

The Three Lions are then due to host Iceland in their finals Nations League match next Wednesday, although the game could reportedly be staged in Albania or Germany because of travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Iceland play Denmark in Copenhagen on Wednesday 15, which poses problems due to a UK ban on foreign visitors travelling from the country, where there are concerns around a new strain of the virus passing from mink to humans.

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