By Liam Thomas

21st Sep, 2022 | 12:54pm

Micah Richards urges Gareth Southgate to play 'unbelievable' Jude Bellingham for England

Micah Richards has urged Gareth Southgate to start Jude Bellingham for England in the upcoming UEFA Nations League games as the squad prepares for the 2022 World Cup.

At just 19-years-old Bellingham is regarded as one of football’s hottest talents and can be at the forefront of everything special England achieves in the future.

Richards admitted that he wasn’t sold on taking Bellingham to the European Championships, however, 18 months later his decision on Bellingham is clear; “play him”.

Speaking to the MailOnline, Richards suggested that Bellingham can be “at the heart of” England’s team for years to come and he’s ready to play a pivotal part in Southgate’s World Cup side.

“No longer are the words ‘could be’ appropriate when discussing him. There is no ‘could be’ about it — Jude Bellingham is already unbelievable and he is going to be at the heart of this England team for years to come, and I can’t wait to see his progress,

“This is his time. I have no doubts at all that he will be central to Southgate’s plans in Qatar — not just in his squad but his starting line-up for the opening match against Iran — and these two Nations League ties against Italy and Germany are the perfect opportunity to see him flourish,

I can understand why Liverpool were so heavily linked with him this summer and why Jurgen Klopp reportedly is a huge admirer — there will no doubt be huge interest in every transfer window from now on,

He is special and you could see him playing for any team — whether it is Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid or whoever.”

Richards right.

Richards is completely right on this one, Bellingham is a special talent who is more than capable of starting in Southgate’s first XI for the World Cup.

The youngster has proved countless times his ability to mix it with the best in Europe and a classy display in the UEFA Champions League against Manchester City this season solidified that.

England’s midfield has desperately missed some creative sparks in recent outings; Bellingham can provide this alongside a ruthless work ethic, a quality that Southgate holds dear.

Bellingham’s wise beyond his year’s temperament should also be considered by Southgate; this will come in handy in the pressure boiler cooker that is the World Cup.

Borussia Dortmund will also be backing Richard’s cries for Bellingham to start for England; a spectacular tournament for the youngster will only inflate his price tag even higher; if that’s even possible.

The likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Real Madrid, however, will be holding their breath on this one.

In other Football Wonderkids news, Harvey Elliott has a huge chance of making a starting spot his own according to our scouting expert