Jude Bellingham added to England's four-player leadership group for Euro 2024

  • Gareth Southgate brings Bellingham into senior leadership group
  • Real Madrid midfielder will deliver the Three Lions boss feedback and suggestions
  • England are without several senior heads this summer
A new role for Bellingham
A new role for Bellingham / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

As England gear up for their first game of Euro 2024, Gareth Southgate has unveiled a bold new strategy that aims to blend experience with youthful dynamism.

Central to this approach is the inclusion of 20-year-old Jude Bellingham, alongside established stars Harry Kane, Declan Rice and Kyle Walker in a revamped leadership group.

This decision by Southgate marks a departure from traditional norms, where senior players typically dominate leadership roles.

"The squad has taken on a younger dynamic and it's important that they embrace more responsibility," explained the Three Lions manager. "It shouldn't just be for the older players to lead. A lot of our younger players have a lot of big match experience."

The reshaping of England’s leadership structure comes amid a changing roster landscape. Key figures from previous campaigns, such as Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson, are absent, while injuries have sidelined others like Harry Maguire. In response, Southgate has turned to a select group to provide stability and guidance.

"We've put a small leadership group together for this tournament now with Harry [Kane], Kyle Walker, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham," he said.

Gareth Southgate, Jude Bellingham
Southgate is keen for Bellingham to step up / Vince Mignott/MB Media/GettyImages

"There is a different dynamic to this group, there are a lot of younger players. It's always important to know what the players are thinking. They have good views, good experiences.

"I could have put more into the group but I think four is enough and we'll meet regularly and feed back on everything."

Southgate's strategy aims not only to maintain on-field standards but also to foster a cohesive team environment. By empowering younger players like Bellingham and Rice, Southgate is preparing them for potential future captaincy.

With the Three Lions set to face Serbia in their Group C opener on Sunday evening, the spotlight will be on how this new leadership dynamic translates on the pitch.