Owen Hargreaves backs Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham to START in England’s Euro campaign

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Owen Hargreaves backs Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham to START in England’s Euro 2020 campaign after the 17-year-old’s stunning season in the Bundesliga

Former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes 17-year-old Jude Bellingham will start for England at the European Championship this summer.

The euro was supposed to take place last year, but was delayed due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning the tournament will instead take place this summer.

During that time, talented teenager Bellingham has moved from championship side Birmingham to Dortmund and made a huge impression in his first season with the German side, having played 36 times in all competitions despite his young age.

Ex-England midfielder Owen Hargreaves backed Jude Bellingham (right) to start the European Championship

Ex-England midfielder Owen Hargreaves backed Jude Bellingham (right) to start the European Championship

Bellingham made his international debut in November to become the third youngest England full-international of all time, with Hargreaves backing him to replace all the other midfield options available to Gareth Southgate and form the base.

He told Manchester City before the Dortmund quarter-final: ‘I think Bellingham will start for Gareth at the European Championship. His all-round game is so good, he plays like a grown man. He is already a star and he will be one of the best in a short time. ‘

City went on to win the game 2-1, with a 90-minute goal from Phil Foden after Marco Reus’ late hit overturned Kevin de Bruyne’s early opener.

Hargreaves praised Dortmund's Bellingham for his fine performance against Manchester City

Hargreaves praised Dortmund's Bellingham for his fine performance against Manchester City

Hargreaves praised Dortmund’s Bellingham for his fine performance against Manchester City

After a fine performance by Bellingham, who was unlucky enough to fail after a controversial refereeing incident, Hargreaves continued his exuberant praise.

He continued: ‘Bellingham has fate, he’s special. He gives you a little more power in midfield.

Mason Mount is about to begin. If you just play Declan and Bellingham up front … Gareth has incredible options, but Bellingham plays in a Champions League game like this. I don’t care if he’s 17, he plays to the level.

England boss Gareth Southgate has a wealth of options in midfield, including Jack Grealish (left)

England boss Gareth Southgate has a wealth of options in midfield, including Jack Grealish (left)

England boss Gareth Southgate has a wealth of options in midfield, including Jack Grealish (left)

Fellow expert Joleon Lescott added: “It’s remarkable. No other English midfielder plays at this level. ‘

Bellingham, who usually plays in central midfield, is therefore likely to compete with the likes of Kalvin Phillips, James Ward-Prowse and Harry Winks for possibly one slot alongside Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson in the England squad.

His side will play against Stuttgart on Saturday and are keen to close the seven-point gap with Champions League qualifying spots before receiving Manchester City on Wednesday in the second leg of the European quarter-final to close their 2-1 deficit.

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