After England secured their place in the World Cup knockout stages with a 3-0 win over Wales, Liverpool target Jude Bellingham explained how playing alongside Jordan Henderson can bring the best out of his game.
Reds captain Henderson played the full 90 minutes in what was his first start at the tournament, adding more solidity and aggression to England’s midfield.
Bellingham, who is widely reported to be Liverpool’s top transfer target, was another to play the full game alongside Henderson in the centre of the park.
His post-match comments show he is relishing playing alongside the Liverpool skipper, something Reds supporters will be hoping convinces him to make the move to Anfield next year.
“We had our high energy today,” Bellingham told BBC Sport after the game.
“I think we realised that in the game the other day, we weren’t aggressive enough, we were a little bit too passive, so it was important for us to be more on the front foot.
“Hendo brings that intensity every time he plays. When he gives you that confidence to go and press, I can push on and then Dec can be aggressive.
“We won a lot of balls high up the pitch, which was key for us retaining the pressure and keeping them under.”
Henderson’s heat map from the game showed his performance was a typically energetic one on the right-hand side of England’s midfield, and he could often be heard screaming demands at his team-mates.
— England (@England) November 29, 2022
Henderson seemed to be equally as enthusiastic about Bellingham’s performance, sharing a picture of him hugging the 19-year-old to his Instagram story after the game.
Liverpool fans also highlighted Bellingham’s concern when Henderson went down with an injury in the second half.
The Reds’ No. 14 looked to be in a lot of pain when he was on the receiving end of a tackle from Aaron Ramsey.
Bellingham and Trent Alexander-Arnold were the two players who immediately rushed over to Henderson, who was eventually fine to carry on.
oh good, hendo injured … But look who’s over first, Trent & Bellingham mmmm
— beth (@bethjjackson) November 29, 2022
Bellingham and Trent checking on Hendo… it’s written
— Dylan (@LFCDylz) November 29, 2022
If Bellingham needs any convincing to make the move to Merseyside, it looks like agent Hendo and agent Trent are doing a fine job!
Alexander-Arnold was another to share his delight on social media after the game, playing his first minutes at the tournament after replacing Kyle Walker in the 57th minute.
The Liverpool right-back was involved in Marcus Rashford’s second and England’s third goal, linking up with Kalvin Phillips before the Man City midfielder’s assist.
Alexander-Arnold is still likely to be third in Southgate’s pecking order for the right-back spot, but will have been pleased to play his part in a memorable victory for his country.