Jude Bellingham has heaped praise on Jordan Henderson and his on-field leadership qualities after England booked their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup last weekend.
The two midfielders combined superbly at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday evening to open the scoring for the Three Lions against Senegal, with Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka later adding to the Liverpool captain’s early strike to set up a mouth-watering last-eight clash with France.
The Borussia Dortmund star, who is the subject of much interest from both Liverpool and Real Madrid, has formed a close bond with the Reds midfielder and the two have been inseparable during their time away at England’s training base in Qatar.
Speaking to England’s media channels, Bellingham was quick to single out Henderson and the impact he has on members of the Three Lions’ squad.
“He’s always the loudest player on the pitch, which I love,” said the 19-year-old. “You always know you’re in a game, he doesn’t let you switch off for one second. I think the best thing about him is he will give you a bit of detail to help you maybe after you’ve done something negative, but he’s the first person if you’ve done something positive to let you know.
“His performance [on Sunday] was incredible, ran the game and scored a key goal. It was a pleasure to play with him again.”
Bellingham also revealed that his celebration with the Liverpool skipper, which saw both players passionately go head-to-head, was completely unplanned but admitted he hopes that it will be remembered by England supporters for years to come.
“That was completely off the cuff,” added Bellingham. “We have never even spoken about if I was to get an assist for him or whatever. Obviously we are spending a lot of time with each other at the minute, but that was completely off the cuff. But I think it has turned into something that is a little bit iconic.
“To be honest, he got so close and I was thinking is this is what we are going to do, we have to commit don’t we! So I went and he went really hard, proper hard! That’s why my back is arched because I’m thinking ‘he’s proper hard here and he’s proper close’. I just had to turn a bit, lean forward and get into a bit of a more comfortable position.
“It was a good moment. It’s something that lives forever, those kind of celebrations, and hopefully people will be talking about it for a long time.”
Reports in Germany earlier this week claimed that Dortmund could demand a fee in the region of €150m for the midfielder. H owever, Liverpool appeared to be handed a boost in their pursuit of the BVB prodigy on Tuesday as reports from Spain claimed Real Madrid would not involve themselves in such reckless bidding, in a bid to protect the financial stability they have formed in recent years.
Aside from having parted with £68m to sign Aurelien Tchouameni from AS Monaco in the summer, the 14-time European Cup winners are in the middle of renovating the Santiago Bernabeu and could end up requiring another loan of €150m to complete the project. If that were to happen, it would bring the overall cost of the redevelopment project to over €1bn.