Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings hailed Borussia Dortmund 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 U21 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.
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Bellingham only made his Birmingham debut last season, but the club chose to retire his No 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.
“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 face Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Wembley on Thursday before travelling to Belgium on Sunday and welcoming Iceland on Wednesday to complete UEFA Nations League Group A2.
However, Sky Sports News reported on Monday England may have to forfeit their game against Iceland, with UEFA expected to sanction Denmark’s fixture with the Icelanders on Sunday.
Currently, the UK Government will not allow any of Iceland’s players into the country to play the game if they have been in Denmark – where a new strain of coronavirus has been linked to the country’s mink farms.
“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.”
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