This year’s European Championships in Germany will be Gareth Southgate’s fourth major tournament in charge of England. With his contract ending next December, this might be his last tournament in that role. Not to mention that Manchester United and other Premier League teams could be interested in signing him.

At the heart of the 53-year-old coach’s thoughts was the current generation of players, including Jude Bellingham, a midfielder for Real Madrid. Since joining La Liga for around $109 million, the ex-Borussia Dortmund player has been unstoppable.

Bellingham may have switched roles at Madrid, but Southgate says his management of the club’s culture has been much more remarkable. Moreover, he drew parallels between the 20-year-old and David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.

What did Southgate say about star midfielder Jude Bellingham?

One may argue that the Galactico period peaked with Beckham’s debut at the Santiago Bernabeu. As Southgate told L’Equipe, the 20-year-old may not have arrived with that weight on his shoulder, but he is working in the same environment.

“There has been a change in terms of his positioning on the pitch, as he occupies a different role in Madrid. Then, the conversations I had with him were about the fact that he now lives in a different world.

“He is still very young, he handles all this very well, but his life cannot be that of a 20-year-old who can go wherever he wants, do whatever he wants. I spent some time talking to him to get him to realize what that means. I played with David Beckham, who lived in a different world. This world is Jude’s today.”

What did Beckham say?

On the other hand, Beckham recently shared his admiration for Bellingham, saying that the player is exceptional both on and off the field. The midfielder won the league championship and, who knows, maybe even a Champions League medal in his first season in Spain.

“Obviously the season that Jude’s had, the talent that he is. But it’s not just the talent with Jude, it’s about the way he is, the way he handles himself, he’s a model pro that knows exactly what he needs to do.

“For someone that is so young to have the maturity that he has is incredible and I think him playing abroad has helped him with that. Now he’s obviously at Real Madrid where the expectations are higher than most other clubs around the world and he’s living up to those.

“It’s great to see his smile, it’s great to see the talent that he is and when he gets in that England shirt, we’ll all be very happy as well”, he told talkSPORT.

In fact, over the past year, Bellingham has garnered a lot of acclaim for his attitude. Akin to how he interacted with England’s Harry Kane, the English coach lauded Jude for his capacity to blend in.

“He was aware of it. And he didn’t seem to suffer from it, but it wouldn’t be abnormal if he had difficulty processing it. Especially because his debut at Real was an incredible high. Then he got injured, at any rate, it wasn’t possible for him to maintain this level throughout the season.

“Jude reminds me of Steven Gerrard. Even when the opponent gives the impression of having control of the game, these are players capable of turning the game around. Through their mentality, they influence their teammates.”