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Kalvin Phillips believes the ‘sky is the limit’ for England team-mate Jude Bellingham after impressing on his full Three Lions debut.
The 17-year-old put in a standout performance as Gareth Southgate’s side began their Euro 2020 preparations with a 1-0 victory over Austria on Wednesday night.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder enjoyed a fine year in Germany and was announced on Saturday as the Bundesliga’s Newcomer of the Season.
He could yet begin the European Championship in the England starting XI and is in direct competition with Phillips for a role in Southgate’s team.
Despite that, Phillips is of the opinion that Bellingham has already reached a higher level than he has at the age of 25.
Asked by talkSPORT’s Faye Carruthers if he had ever seen a teenager as good as Bellingham, the midfielder replied: “No. I’ve definitely not (seen) a 17-year-old that is as talented as what he is.
“I don’t even think I am as talented as what he is to be honest with you. He is a great player, a great lad as well and he has got the world at his feet.
“Honestly, there are no words to describe how talented he is. As you can see throughout his career at Birmingham and then his move to Dortmund, which is a massive move for a kid so young.
“The way he has performed in certain games in the Champions League against Manchester City, just on the highest stage.
“It was like he was ready to be there already for a kid so young at 17, you look at him and you can’t quite believe that he’s 17 years old, you can’t believe because he’s so big, he’s so strong, so powerful.
“He’s a very nice lad as well so it’s nice to rub shoulders with a young lad who is doing so well and now the sky’s the limit for him.”
The Leeds midfielder enjoyed a strong season under Marcelo Bielsa and could well partner Declan Rice in midfield if Jordan Henderson is not fit to start against Croatia on June 13.
However, Southgate insists the players and the medical team are taking every precaution with a player who has not played since February.
Southgate told talkSPORT: “We definitely have to listen to a player in terms of how they are feeling but we have to take intelligent decision as a coaching team and a medical team.
“Sometimes they can be overly bold and we can’t push him too far. We know the parameters we are working with for these guys.
“Of course we want our injured players to advance quickly and not break down. There is a fine balance in that process.”
talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 will have live commentary of EVERY game of Euro 2020. You won’t miss a thing as we bring you round the clock coverage, reaction and analysis from June 11-July 11. Listen online HERE.