Jude Bellingham ‘can be the difference’ for England, says Kieran Trippier15 October 2023
Jude Bellingham can be the difference in England's bid to win a first men's major tournament since 1966, says Three Lions team-mate Kieran Trippier.
Gareth Southgate's side host Italy on Tuesday, knowing a win would seal qualification to Euro 2024.
Midfielder Bellingham has scored 10 goals in his first 10 games for Real Madrid this season.
"With the maturity, quality and aggression he's got, he's frightening," Trippier said of the 20-year-old.
England can secure their place in a fourth major tournament under Southgate in Tuesday's Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy, with a win also guaranteeing top spot in Group C.
Under Southgate, they have have reached a World Cup semi-final and quarter-final and lost to Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, as the men's side's wait for major tournament success continues.
Bellingham, who joined Real Madrid for 103m euros in the summer from Borussia Dortmund, was an unused substitute in that final penalty shootout loss to Italy but has since established himself as key member of Southgate's midfield.
"If you play well there in Madrid, the fans will love you. It's no surprise to me how he's started there because Jude is frightening," said Newcastle full-back Trippier, who played for Atletico Madrid between 2019-2022.
"Jude did unbelievable at Dortmund. He's taken that experience with him. You see he's playing with a freedom and the players around him are going to make his standards get even better. The most scary thing is he's only 20 year old. He can be the difference.
"But if you look throughout the whole team, from 2018 to now we've taken massive steps.
"We lost in the Euros final, but the most important thing is we're progressing, we're doing very well. We've got players who can change games, we've got goals from all over the pitch.
"Jude, Madders (James Maddison), obviously Bukayo (Saka), Phil (Foden), they can change games in certain moments. They're still young. Representing England is a big thing but these guys are playing at the top level."
Trippier, 33, also defended England team-mate Jordan Henderson, who was booed by some fans during Friday's 1-0 friendly win against Australia.
The ex-Liverpool captain joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq this summer in a move which sparked significant controversy.
Henderson was a vocal ally of the LGBTQ+ community during his time with Liverpool, but has been criticised by some fans and LGBTQ+ campaigners for moving to Saudi Arabia, where same-sex sexual activity is illegal.
Earlier this month, Henderson, named England captain on Friday with regular skipper Harry Kane an unused substitute, posted a video to his social media accounts where he backed Saudi Arabia's 2034 World Cup bid.
"For us as players, we stick together," Trippier said. "I see Hendo on a daily basis. He is an unbelievable character, he's a leader - what he does for the team, playing or not playing.
"He's an unbelievable person to have in the dressing room. He makes sure everyone trains properly. He sets standards."
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