Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings hailed former Birmingham midfielder Jude Bellingham as a “fantastic talent” following his maiden call-up to the England squad.
The 17-year-old had originally been included in the Under-21 squad but was promoted to Gareth Southgate’s senior camp after both Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse withdrew through injury.
Bellingham moved to Borussia Dortmund from Sky Bet Championship side Birmingham during the summer and has already made six appearances in the Bundesliga.
Bellingham only made his Birmingham debut last season, but the club chose to retire his number 22 shirt in honour of what he had achieved at St Andrew’s following his switch to Germany.
“I have had the opportunity to see him in training over the past couple of days, and what a fantastic talent he looks,” Mings said at an England press conference on Tuesday.
“I know he is from the blue side of Birmingham, but I have got no problem in admitting what a fantastic player he is and what a fantastic lad he seems.
Bundesliga Debut ✅Champions League Debut ✅England U21 Debut ✅England NT 🔜— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) November 10, 2020
“For someone who has achieved so much in such a short space of time, he seems to be very grounded and humble.
“It is a huge occasion for him, and fair play to him.”
England take on the Republic of Ireland in a friendly clash on Thursday before coming up against Belgium in the Nations League on Sunday.
Their game against Iceland at Wembley on November 18 could yet be rearranged following the Government’s ban on arrivals from Denmark – which includes all elite sportspeople who had previously been exempt from restrictions – with Iceland scheduled to play Denmark in Copenhagen on Sunday.
Mings, though, stressed the players remained very much focused on the job in hand as they prepare to tackle the Republic of Ireland.
“We are about preparing for each game as it comes and controlling the ‘controllables’ really,” Mings said.
“We can’t control whether that game (Iceland) goes ahead, or where it goes ahead, the different situations which will affect that game.
“All of our focus at the moment is on Thursday, with the year we are going through, being able to be fluid and adapt to change has been more crucial and important than ever.
“If we can demonstrate that through the week, then we will be fine, but all of our focus at the moment is rightly on Ireland.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.