Jude Bellingham named in Gareth Southgate's new England leadership group

Gareth Southgate has created a new England leadership group and says that he does not want to leave Germany with “any stone left unturned” as they attempt to win the European Championship this summer.

Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane, Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham and Arsenal’s Declan Rice have been installed as the national team’s four leaders.

Southgate wants to make sure every voice is heard throughout the squad, which is why he has added Bellingham and Rice to the group, with 12 of the 26 players selected for England yet to play in a major tournament.

“There are a lot of younger players and I want to make sure I am in touch with the voices of the younger players as well,” Southgate said. “I don’t want to leave here with any stone unturned.

“I don’t want to have missed anything and it is always important to know what the players are thinking. They have good views, they have good experiences. And also, there will be some decisions I will take without talking to any of them.”

Kane and Walker are England’s two most experienced squad players with over 174 caps between them — Kane has 91, Walker has 83 — while Rice (51) and Bellingham (29) have made a joint 80 appearances.

Southgate added that he will regularly be leaning on the leadership group to gauge the mood of the squad, noting how it is important for the younger players to have their voices heard.

“I want the opinion of the four boys, but also they are involved with different age groups in the squad, so will be able to pick up what’s going on in different areas of the squad,” the England manager added.



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“We have got 26 (players), it’s not easy to keep track of how everybody is every day and you want to open up that dialogue. Sometimes with younger players, they are normally going to be a little bit more reluctant to approach the head coach or manager and talk about what they are thinking, so you want a sense check of what’s going on on the ground.

“I think for those boys, they are leaders. The squad has taken on a younger dynamic and it is so important they start to embrace responsibility in those areas.

“It shouldn’t just be on the older players to lead, a lot of our younger players have a lot of caps and a lot of big-match experience. I could have put more into the group but I think four is enough. We will meet regularly and feedback on everything.”

Following Sunday’s game against Serbia, England take on Denmark before rounding off their Group C campaign against Slovenia.



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(Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

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