International Soccer

Gareth Southgate reveals why England can’t rely on Jude Bellingham at Euro 2024

Gareth Southgate says he is not pinning England’s hopes of winning Euro 2024 solely on Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham, insisting a squad effort will be required to succeed in Germany.

Bellingham enjoyed a stunning first season in Spain, culminating in a La Liga and Champions League double, and is set to be one of the Three Lions’ most important players as they seek just a second ever major international trophy over the next few months.

The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder was absent from the pre-tournament friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland but is expected to start in England’s Euro 2024 opener next Sunday.

Speaking to the press, Southgate revealed: “I’m sure he will but it is not his responsibility to do that.”

Asked if Bellingham can handle the growing pressure attached to being the country’s new talisman, Southgate added: “I’m sure he is but we are not putting everything on Jude. We’ve got a lot of good players and it is a collective thing to go and try to win this tournament.

“He is, of course, a player with a fabulous mentality and will have a big impact on the whole group.”

Real Madrid UEFA Champions League Trophy celebrations

Bellingham helped Real Madrid win the Champions League in his most recent game / Anadolu/GettyImages

In Bellingham’s absence, Cole Palmer played in the number 10 role in the 3-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina, scoring a penalty shortly before his withdrawal, while Phil Foden was deployed in the position for the surprise 1-0 defeat to Iceland.

However, neither is thought to have done enough in those runouts to displace Bellingham from the starting lineup Southgate will pick for England‘s tournament opener against Serbia a week on Sunday.

On Palmer, the manager added: “He’s had a fabulous season and got himself into a couple of fabulous positions. He probably took a touch too many on both occasions, but the fact is he was in there on both occasions and looked dangerous.”

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