Jude Bellingham: The teenager at the forefront of England's future

Jude Bellingham joined Borussia Dortmund in July 2020 from Birmingham City.
While the pain of England's Euro 2020 penalty defeat to Italy may be still felt, there is an underlying sense that this could be the start of something very special for the Three Lions. Jude Bellingham is Exhibit A.

The midfielder was present in three games during the tournament, but he did not play in the final at Wembley. However, he continues to thrive at a club that is known for nurturing young talent.

Borussia Dortmund's 18-year old has earned comparisons to Steven Gerrard for his consistent performances. He has also been compared to Vincent Kompany and Cesc Fabregas for his maturity.

Although Gareth Southgate might have taken the teenager out his last squad to rest him, it was a sign that Bellingham had already convinced his coach that he is an important part of England's future.

It was a surprise that Bellingham wasn't already a key player for the Three Lions in Italy when they met during the summer.

"Bellingham was mentioned in Italy during Euros, [Phil] Foden was in Manchester City's Champions League run," James Horncastle, an Italian football expert, told BBC's Euro Leagues Football Show.

"There's a sense that England wasted a lot talent in the final. More players should have been on the pitch and integrated into the team sooner.

"Jadon Sancho" was also mentioned - suggesting that England had more to offer. It was the talk of the Italian press. There is a feeling that it is not the end, but it is the beginning for England with Bellingham at its forefront.

Bellingham won eight England caps, and was part the Euro 2020 squad.

You may think Bellingham was tired during the international break, but you'll be able to see why. He played 53 games for club and country last year and has been a regular participant in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

However, his performances have been no less energetic lately, and team-mates praise him for his relentless effort.

Bellingham has had more freedom to move forward in recent times. A wonderful left-footed goal in the Bundesliga victory over Hoffenheim, as well as a goal and assist against Besiktas, in September, are all examples of Bellingham's arsenal.

Archie Rhind - Tutt, a Bundesliga reporter, said that "he just has this very infectious energy.

"Senior players in Dortmund have complimented him. Mats Hummels said he has made 25 declarations of his love for him, Marco Reus saying that he reminds him of Steven Gerrard in his game play and willingness to run.

He enjoys the fight so much that he gets involved in the dark arts of the game. He will do things like give away a free kick in his own side, he'll stand on the ball and give his opponents a push in the back. In Leverkusen's case, with 10 minutes remaining, he committed foul and just sat down on the ball.

Bellingham lives with his mother in Germany. Rhind-Tutt said that this helps him stay grounded. However, he is a determined pitchman.

You can see the proof in the celebration following his opener at Besiktas. He stifled the hostile home crowd and took a beer towards the pitch after Erling Baaland's win against Bayer Leverkusen.

Rhind-Tutt said that sometimes his emotions can get away with him. But the Dortmund bench recognizes it and lets him cool down." "He has so much to offer his game, his judgment is so sharp and his willingness to learn so great.

It is very exciting. There is a lot of talk in Germany about "Is there anything that he can't accomplish?"

Bellingham sipped a beer that was thrown to her during the match against Leverkusen.

Bellingham has made great strides since August 2019, when he became the youngest debutant in Birmingham City at 16 years and 38 days.

He was already being linked to top European clubs by the end of that season. To avoid a move to Manchester United, he decided to go to Germany where he believed he would be offered more opportunities in the first team.

Julien Laurens, a European football expert, said that "he is just so mature."

"I interviewed him after they played in the Champions League against Manchester City last year and I was shocked at the way he spoke. He is very intelligent.

He reminds me of Fabregas, not in how he plays but in the incredible maturity he shows. That's not something you see very often.

Kristof Terreur, a Belgian journalist, makes the comparison with Kompany (ex-Manchester City captain), who made it to Anderlecht at age 17.

Terreur said, "He talks like someone who is 30 years old - some men have it." Bellingham has a lot of cool about him, and that is what will take him far.

A 100m midfielder at 18?

Bellingham was the youngest English player to play in the Champions League last season

There is talk of Premier League clubs looking to bring back a player to England, who could become the centre of the country's midfield over the next 15-years.

Rhind-Tutt stated that Dortmund has the space to allow him to grow. He said that the contract for the player is good until 2025 with no release clause.

"If he continues to perform like he does then I don't think he will stop performing as well. His achievements and standards are truly remarkable.

He is a great fit for any club. He would be a great captain for any club, and it wouldn't hurt him to stay.

Laurens suggests Manchester United or City as the next destination for the teenager, should he leave Dortmund.

Bellingham is the man United need to replace Paul Pogba, he said. He is already a 100m player, even at age 18.

The price will go up the longer you wait. If you wait too long, it will cost 120-130m.