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Bellingham told he shares key Messi attribute as England coach Holland suggests Premier League transfer could benefit World Cup star

12:10 GMT+3 07/12/2022
Jude Bellingham England 2022
England assistant Steve Holland likened Jude Bellingham's "unique" quality to Lionel Messi, and suggested he could benefit from a Premier League move.
  • Bellingham has dazzled for England in Qatar
  • Holland likened midfielder to Messi
  • Suggested he may need Premier League "challenge"

WHAT HAPPENED? Bellingham has caught the eye so far in Qatar, with his performances impressing beyond the one goal and assist to his name. Holland, who has worked for Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, and was part of Chelsea's 2012 Champions League-winning managerial staff, compared the 19-year-old's mentality with Argentina superstar Messi, and has hinted that the "challenge" of the Premier League could make the Borussia Dortmund star grow even further.

WHAT THEY SAID: ''He’s unique,'' Holland told the Guardian. ''We’ve talked about Messi and those special techniques. What makes the top, top ones is the mentality, the ambition every day to push and be competitive. There were a few at Chelsea I felt were always there in training. Players that weren’t super-gifted physically or super-gifted technically, but the mental aspect of it took them to a different level of performance. Jude has those mental attributes."

On the Bundesliga, Holland said: ''It is a good league to develop in. It’s probably not quite as challenging every week as the Premier League. He gets a fair share of games where he is comfortable and enjoying playing on the ball and not always on the limit, which for a young player is a good way to develop. His impact in this tournament, for a player of his age, is already hugely unusual."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Bellingham's performances in Qatar have raised his already elevated market value, with Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi the latest to show an interest. On the pitch, the teenager's contributions in front of goal as well as his link-up play have been the foundations for the new-found clinical edge of Gareth Southgate's side, as England currently top the World Cup scoring charts with 12 goals in four matches.

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WHAT NEXT FOR BELLINGHAM? For now, Bellingham will be putting the hype to one side, as England face perhaps the sternest test of the Southgate era on Saturday, taking on holders France and their very own young superstar in Kylian Mbappe.