Kalvin Phillips has claimed that Jude Bellingham is more talented than he is and sees a bright future for the midfielder after his full England debut.
Bellingham, 17, put in a standout performance as Gareth Southgate’s side began their Euro 2020 preparations with victory over Austria on Wednesday night. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder enjoyed a fine year in Germany and was announced on Saturday as the Bundesliga’s Newcomer of the Season.
He could yet begin the European Championship in the England starting XI and is in direct competition with Phillips for a role in Southgate’s team.
Despite that, Phillips is of the opinion that Bellingham has already reached a higher level than he has at the age of 25.
Asked if he had ever seen a 17-year-old as good as Bellingham, the Leeds midfielder replied: “No. I’ve definitely not (seen) a 17-year-old that is as talented as what he is.
“I don’t even think I am as talented as what he is to be honest with you. He is a great player, a great lad as well and he has got the world at his feet.
“Honestly, there are no words to describe how talented he is. As you can see throughout his career at Birmingham and then his move to Dortmund, which is a massive move for a kid so young.
“The way he has performed in certain games in the Champions League against Manchester City, just on the highest stage.
“It was like he was ready to be there already for a kid so young at 17. You look at him and you can’t quite believe that he’s 17 years old; you can’t believe because he’s so big, he’s so strong, so powerful.
“He’s a very nice lad as well so it’s nice to rub shoulders with a young lad who is doing so well and now the sky’s the limit for him.”
Phillips ready for Euro 2020
While the question marks over Jordan Henderson’s fitness ahead of the finals remain, Phillips is in line to start Sunday’s final warm-up game against Romania.
That is despite suffering a shoulder dislocation in the closing moments of Leeds’ final Premier League game of the season.
“Yes, definitely,” Phillips replied when asked by talkSPORT if he would be fully fit for the Romania game.
“My shoulder is good and I feel very confident in it now. I actually did think I was going to miss the Euros but my recovery has been excellent.
“The staff here (with England) and at the club have been excellent with me and I’m very grateful for that.”