Roy Keane impressed by 'amazing' United target Jude Bellingham

Jude Bellingham was handed a start by England manager Gareth Southgate for last night’s friendly with the Ivory Coast.

The reported long-term Manchester United target was the most advanced of England’s midfield three as they ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

It was yet another reminder of his quality and the performance impressed Roy Keane, who certainly knows a thing or two about what it takes to be an elite midfielder.

He was on ITV’s highlights coverage after the game and made his admiration for the Borussia Dortmund man abundantly clear.

Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

“I’m confused everytime I listen to interviews! People say he’s a six or an eight or a ten – just get on with the game!” joked Keane.

“Play what’s in front of you. Whatever role you’re asked to play, he can do it. Don’t label him as a certain position. He can play a lot of different positions like a lot of good young players.

“The key for him is he is playing week in, week out for a top club in Germany. Every time he plays for England, he looks so comfortable.

“He played tonight like he’s played 50, 60 times for England. He’s so mature, he’s got everything in his locker. Can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s an amazing talent. He’s going to be a mainstay for England for the next 10-15 years.”

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Bellingham has not fully established himself in Southgate’s first choice team yet but that is surely only a matter of time with performances like last night’s.

He is the kind of midfield player England need if they are going to keep the ball against the very best teams and the same goes for United.

It seems unlikely he will move this summer. Dortmund tend to only offload one star per off-season and this time around, that looks like being Erling Haaland.

So perhaps 2023 will be when Bellingham makes his move, and by that time, he could be a World Cup winner with England.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.