Should Bellingham be concerned by England snub?

Stefan Bienkowski
Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham

England manager Gareth Southgate made a number of surprising omissions when he announced his squad for the forthcoming international break.

While some players were dropped due to form or injury, two players that didn’t make the cut to the amazement of England fans were Mason Greenwood and Jude Bellingham.

However, while Greenwood may have been omitted due to excessive depth in that position, Bellingham’s absence is all the stranger considering England’s lack of attacking talent in the central midfield positions.

However, Southgate was quick to explain his decisions when asked about neither player earning a call up for the games against Andorra and Hungary.

What did Southgate say?

“They don’t come as a pair but they are both similar situations in that they are young players with a heavy load at the moment,” explained the England manager at a press conference on Thursday.

“I’ve spoken with both of the players. Jude at the moment has a high level of matches. He’s playing Champions League games, he’s playing league games. As an 18-year-old he had a full season last season then into a European Championship so no break.

“We have to remember these lads are physically growing. When we are talking about young player development, we have to be careful how we handle them and make sure that they are two players we feel can be really exciting players for England for the future. We don’t want to overload them and we’ve got to be making sure we make the right decisions.”

Why should Bellingham be worried?

Although Southgate has suggested that he spoke to Bellingham about his decision to drop the player for the forthcoming games, it does ring back to Jadon Sancho’s own struggles with the England manager due to him not playing in the Premier League each week.

The former Borussia Dortmund winger was often overlooked for domestic alternatives and after leaving the club for Manchester United, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke confirmed that part of Sancho’s motivation to move to Old Trafford was due to Southgate often overlooking his exploits in the Bundesliga.

Whether this is also the case with Bellingham remains to be seen, but if Sancho’s situation set a precedent then the England manager’s decision to drop the Dortmund midfielder so readily is far from comforting for the talented young player.