Jude Bellingham called up to England squad as James Ward-Prowse withdraws through injury

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WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Jude Bellingham of England during the UEFA Euro Under 21 Qualifier match between England U21 and Turkey U21 at Molineux on October 13, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Visionhaus)

Bellingham promoted

Gareth Southgate was expected to call-up a Borussia Dortmund player to his squad however the news has broken that a second has now made the cut. The Black and Yellow’s Jude Bellingham has received his first call-up after Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse withdrew through injury.

England face matches against Ireland, Belgium and Iceland with the latter still to be determined as to how it will go ahead due to coronavirus restrictions on travel.

Bellingham joined Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2020. Looked to be more of a developmental signing even with the significant transfer fee, Bellingham has played 11 games for Dortmund already. Even starting their first Bundesliga match of the season in a 3-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach. The 17-year-old recorded an assist in the match and has also scored in the DFB-Pokal, the German domestic cup.

Initially part of the under-21 squad, Southgate deemed Bellingham ready for a senior call-up and overlooked senior options such as Ross Barkley.

Ready for the challenge

The writing has been on the wall for some time regarding Jude Bellingham’s adolescent success. Plying his trade in Birmingham, Mike Dodds, the head of the Professional Development Phase programme at Birmingham told Goal how upon entering the senior side it was destined Bellingham would make it.

“He was just like any other kid. He had ups and downs, highs and lows, frustrations and success, but he worked extremely hard and has an unbelievable love for football,” Dodds said.

“He always wanted to win and always wanted to get better. That was always in his makeup. When he got to the age of 12, we thought ‘this boy is actually half decent’.”

“He was a talented boy, but there are loads of talented boys. In this industry, there has to be some luck involved as well.”

“But you only really knew that he was going to be a footballer when he broke into the senior team. It’s so complex, it’s hard to say he was going to have a different career to any other boy.”

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RIJEKA, CROATIA – OCTOBER 12: Jadon Sancho of England takes on Josip Pivaric of Croatia during the UEFA Nations League A Group Four match between Croatia and England at Stadion HNK Rijeka on October 12, 2018 in Rijeka, Croatia. The match is due to be played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

A player that breaks into a Championship club’s senior side at the age of 16 is miraculous within itself. Bellingham became Birmingham’s youngest ever debutant at that time. It is hard not to look at the rise of Jadon Sancho at Dortmund and imagine if Bellingham could have a similar progression in Germany.

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