Gary Neville said England midfielder Jude Bellingham “looks like he can do everything” after another starring role in their 3-0 World Cup win over Senegal.
Sky Sports’ Neville was glowing in his praise for the 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder, who has started every game for England at the World Cup so far.
Bellingham’s driving run and square for Jordan Henderson helped England get off the mark in their last-16 tie, before he played a similarly impressive role in their second with a winding dribble from inside his own half.
“It’s very rare you see a midfield player as comfortable in his own half as in the attacking half,” Neville told ITV. “He looks like he can do absolutely everything. Is he a holding player, an attacking player? He’s everything in one.
“Physically he’s fantastic, so young but it’s the composure, maturity and fearlessness I can’t get my head around.
“I watched players play for England for many years, the weight of the shirt was enormous. He just doesn’t feel it at all, he looks like he belongs out there, like he wants it and needs it in his life.”
Keane added that he had rarely seen a display of the quality the teenager had produced in his first ever World Cup knock-out game, still six months off his 20th birthday.
Keane told ITV: “I’ve not seen a young midfielder perform like that for years. You usually see it from a world-class player who’s 26, 27. Everything he does in the game. We talk about what goes on in his brain.
“He’s got that maturity, his decision-making, what’s going on upstairs – it’s huge for a midfielder. End product, final pass, the kid has everything.”
Dorsett: Is Bellingham England’s most important player?
Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett was in Qatar to watch England stroll to victory, and questioned whether Bellingham, who had only played 10 times for England at the start of the year, had now become their most important player.
“Jude Bellingham is world class, and possibly England’s most important player at the age of 19,” he said. “His friendship and partnership with Jordan Henderson is blossoming on and off the pitch.
“Gareth Southgate got the big calls absolutely spot on again. In the first group game vs Iran, Sterling and Saka got three goals between them. In the third group game vs Wales, Rashford and Foden got 3 goals.
“Tonight, Saka and Foden were the big calls out wide. Saka got one goal, and Foden got 2 assists. Southgate really does seem to have the Midas touch with his selections right now.
“Crucially, Harry Kane has opened his World Cup account. He’s one goal behind Rooney, and now holds the record alone for most goals scored by an England player in major tournaments
“And, overall, England cruised through their first knockout game, and had the luxury of being able to make changes and rest some players with a huge quarter final v France on the horizon next weekend.”