Augsburg’s Reece Oxford has hailed Jude Bellingham’s maturity and says the England worldwide is destined to be a prime participant.
Equally to Oxford, who joined Augsburg as a 20-year-old from West Ham, Bellingham is one other instance of an English teen who has thrived since making the transfer to the Bundesliga with the 17-year-old establishing himself as one of many hottest prospects in world soccer at Borussia Dortmund.
Eyebrows had been raised when Bellingham rejected the advances of the likes of Manchester United to hitch Dortmund from Birmingham City for £25m, however the midfielder has thrived in Germany, scoring 4 targets in 43 appearances in all competitors this season.
A type of strikes was a surprising objective towards Manchester City within the Champions League and he was thrust into the highlight even additional final November when Gareth Southgate handed him his England debut towards the Republic of Eire.
As such, Oxford – who is aware of all about coping with strain at a younger age – feels there may be much more to come back from Bellingham.
Talking solely to talkSPORT, Oxford mentioned: “He [Bellingham] performs like he’s performed within the league for about three years! He’s snug, sturdy and he’s aggressive. He’s acquired every part to be a prime participant. Everybody compares him to the Steven Gerrard’s and stuff, however he’s acquired every part to be a prime participant if he retains his head down and focuses.
“I really feel like he’s made an enormous step and he’s impressed me. He’s within the senior squad for England and that’s loopy as effectively. He’s the [English] participant that’s impressed me probably the most.”
With two caps to his identify, Bellingham is in with an opportunity of constructing England’s squad for this summer time’s European Championships and Oxford is eager to observe within the 17-year-old’s footsteps at worldwide degree.
Oxford initially performed as a midfielder when he broke via at West Ham however has performed as a part of a back-three at Augsburg this season, a system which Southgate has additionally toyed with for England, too.
“I might hope to get a look-in with the senior squad,” Oxford revealed.
“I performed for the twenties and all ages group beneath so hopefully, I can get some extra video games out right here and hopefully, he [Southgate] provides me an opportunity. Hopefully, I can show to him that I can play within the senior squad and that’s the subsequent step for me.
“I might say centre-half [is my preferred position] however the again three system can be good. We now have sturdy defenders [like] Jeff [Gouweleeuw] our captain and Felix Uduokhai [at Augsburg]. We’re all sturdy within the again three, however some managers don’t play the again 5 or again three system or no matter you need to name it.
“Centre-half, I feel, is my strongest place. I may play centre-midfield however within the long-run, I’ll be a centre-half.”
The 22-year-old has loved one thing of a breakthrough season at Augsburg this marketing campaign and is beginning to showcase why he was so extremely rated at West Ham, the place he famously grew to become the Hammers’ youngest ever participant when he made his debut towards Lusitanos aged 16 years and 198 days.
Having been on the fringes of the primary crew throughout his first full season with the German outfit, he has made 23 appearances in all competitions for Augsburg this marketing campaign and has been named Man of the Match on a number of events for some sturdy performances.
Whereas it has been a promising season on a private degree for Oxford, it has been a much less profitable one for Augsburg, who’ve been dragged into the Bundesliga relegation battle after profitable simply 5 league video games in 2021.
The membership have put in Markus Weinzierl as their new supervisor for his or her last few video games and with avoiding the drop the important thing purpose, Oxford seems again on the season with combined feelings.
“It’s been a greater season. Should you’re taking a look at sport time and stats, it’s been the perfect season in my profession,” he explains.
“I wouldn’t say it’s good, as a result of I at all times need to purpose greater, but it surely’s higher than the season earlier than. I’m blissful on a private observe, however I nonetheless suppose we’ve acquired much more to do as a crew to remain within the league. We’re clearly an awesome crew and need to keep within the league and the subsequent two video games are large for us and myself.”
Regardless of Augsburg’s relegation battle, Oxford has no regrets over making the transfer to Germany and feels he has not simply improved as a participant, however as an individual, too.
“I’m studying to do stuff on my own,” he finishes.
“I’m residing on my own clearly and nobody’s right here. In your spare time, you need to do one thing like study the language, as a result of it’s at all times good to know one other language, particularly German which is such a dominating language.
“It’s simply the little issues; cleansing up your home day by day, washing, doing the dishes and cooking and so on! It’s made me develop as an individual as effectively.
“I simply really feel like in England, I used to be actually younger after I first got here via so my focus ranges weren’t pretty much as good. However I really feel like shifting to Germany, they give attention to the little issues and it’s simply beginning to straighten now. I really feel like I’m concentrating extra and focusing extra after I play.”