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England U21

'He's studying German and learning to drive' - Boothroyd says teenage sensation Bellingham is mature beyond his years

5:30 AM MYT 13/10/2020
Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund 2019-20
The Bundesliga star is the youngest player in England's Under-21s squad but he is destined for an important role

Aidy Boothroyd believes that Jude Bellingham has handled his move to Borussia Dortmund brilliantly as the England Under-21s manager highlighted the teenager's achievement of winning the Bundesliga's Young Player of the Month award upon his arrival.

The 17-year-old chose the German giants ahead of the likes of Manchester United this summer in a £25m ($33m) move from Birmingham City after a sensational breakthrough season in the Championship.

After scoring on his debut, Bellingham also has an assist to his name in his first five appearances at Signal Iduna Park.

As he continues to break through at the highest level in the sport, Bellingham is studying to speak German while also learning to drive as he bids to fit in off the field under Lucien Favre.

"He is the oldest young player I have ever come across," Boothroyd said ahead of his side's match against Turkey. "He has settled down now, he is comfortable in his environment, he is giving stick out to the lads and he is getting a bit back.

"He has to do his education; he is learning German, he is trying to learn how to drive and he is doing his driving test in Germany. He has a lot going on and he is loving the fact that he can just go out and train and be free.

"He has made a brilliant start at Dortmund to get the young player of the month. I fully expect him to build on that and I have been really impressed with him as a person and as a player. He is really a credit to his parents, a cracking guy, he comes into the room with a massive smile.

"He is always looking at who he can dig out from more senior players. He has settled in fine and I am really pleased with how he has performed in training. He will be involved tomorrow night. As the Under-21s, we are really happy to have such a talent with us."

The Three Lions Under-21s are bidding to qualify for the European Championship in 2021 and are looking to overcome their first setback of the group stage - a 3-3 away draw with basement dwellers Andorra.

However, a win over Turkey at the Molineux Stadium on Tuesday night can confirm qualification with two games to spare for Boothroyd's side.

"A lot of the older players didn’t play; I was interested in listening to their reactions, which was good and encouraging," he added. "We’ve got some really good lads. Genuine, honest, want to get better, and certainly outstanding footballers. We can get this out of the way and make sure we’re prepared for March."