Declan Rice has called England teammate and apparent Liverpool (opens in new tab) target Jude Bellingham "a privilege to play next to".
Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) midfielder Bellingham, 19, continues to be linked with a switch to the Reds (opens in new tab), with Manchester City (opens in new tab) also said to be interested (opens in new tab).
And Rice has given some insight into what Bellingham's potential future teammates could expect from his England (opens in new tab) colleague. Speaking after the Three Lions drew 3-3 with Germany (opens in new tab) on Monday in their final game before the World Cup 2022, the West Ham (opens in new tab) captain, 23, said (opens in new tab):
"I don't think I've seen anyone as good as [Bellingham] is for 19. I look at a lot of 19-year-olds, whether it's at a club, around the world [or] around the country. To have the whole package is a hard thing ... and I feel like he's got that."
The pair started together in both of England's Nations League fixtures this international break – the aforementioned draw with Germany and Friday's 1-0 loss to Italy – and Rice has explained what it's like to play alongside Bellingham.
"He's a man; you can see it when he plays for Dortmund. As a 19-year-old, you're normally scared to talk to the referee, but he's in the referee's face demanding answers, demanding decisions and he leaves himself on the pitch constantly. He really pushes you on the pitch. We push each other on and it's a privilege to play next to him."
Fellow England midfielder Jordan Henderson similarly praised Bellingham – who could join him at Liverpool – earlier this month. "He is miles ahead of me and where I was at that age," the Three Lions vice-captain told (opens in new tab) The Times. "I am a big fan of Jude."
Rice and Bellingham look to be Gareth Southgate's first-choice England midfield combination at the World Cup – a stage on which neither has previously appeared (although both featured at Euro 2020, where Rice started every game en route to the final).
The Three Lions kick off their campaign in Qatar when they face Iran (opens in new tab) in the second game of the tournament on Monday 21 November.
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