Southgate hands shock England call-up to Bellingham

Date published: Tuesday 10th November 2020 10:56 - Matthew Briggs

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

The 17-year-old had originally been included in the Under-21 squad but was promoted to Gareth Southgate’s senior camp after both Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse withdrew through injury.

Bellingham moved to Dortmund from Sky Bet Championship side Birmingham during the summer and has already made six appearances in the Bundesliga.

Bellingham only made his Birmingham debut last season, but the club chose to retire his number 22 shirt in honour of what he had achieved at St Andrew’s following his switch to Germany.

He will now link up with the majority of the senior squad ahead of Thursday’s friendly against the Republic of Ireland and will become the third-youngest player in England’s history if he collects his first cap at Wembley.

Forward Marcus Rashford will miss that game as he will not report for duty until Thursday morning for further assessment on an injury suffered in Manchester United’s win at Everton, with Southgate hopeful he can feature in the Nations League game against Belgium on Sunday.

While most of the players arrived at St George’s Park on Monday, a number were scheduled to report on Tuesday morning, with Ben Chilwell, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Kyle Walker, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling given an extra day at home.

Meanwhile, England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd covered the loss of Bellingham by calling up Everton pair Tom Davies and Ben Godfrey, although Norwich full-back Max Aarons has withdrawn for the games against Andorra and Albania.



United missed out on Bellingham

Bellingham had been on the radar of Manchester United last season and the player visited United’s training complex and met Sir Alex Ferguson.

But Dortmund won the tussle for the youngster to leave United disappointed behind the scenes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, refused to be drawn into speculation surrounding the teenager when questioned if United had missed out.

“Well, there has been loads of speculation and we’ve been linked with every single talented player from the age of 15 to 25,” Solskjaer said. “I can’t comment on every single player that has been linked with us. So, no, I can’t really comment.”

READ MORE: Bellingham explains easy choice to ‘ignore’ joining ‘great’ Man Utd team

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