Luke Shaw confessed to being stunned by Jude Bellingham’s quality when he initially became part of the England squad.
Speaking on the Lions’ Den YouTube channel, Shaw dished out a glowing appraisal to the player reportedly wanted by Chelsea.
His teammates, pundits and rivals alike all say pretty much the same thing: he is a generational talent.
The teenager might be short on years compared to his colleagues, but his quality arguably takes him to the top of the pile.
The beauty of Bellingham
Few in world football can boast a similar array of skills to the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.
He is technically astute, gifted beyond belief in possession, a true student of the game and best of all, the 19-year-old is improving daily.
But whilst everyone is now aware of Bellingham’s ability, he was hidden from the international scene before his England debut in 2020.
“I could pick anyone in the England team.. this is so hard,” said Shaw when asked to name the Englishman that excites him the most.
“I think the one for me is who I have been like most surprised about is when he first got involved, was Jude,” continued the Manchester United defender.
“He’s so young now but the talent he possesses is unbelievable, he is unbelievable. He can do everything in that middle, he can drive with the ball, he’s aggressive, he is unbelievable.
“Over the past couple of years being in the squad with him, he has always had the talent, but he is starting to gain the experience and he’s becoming more into a man.
“He’s captaining his club and the steps his taking are leading him in the right direction.
“He’s an unbelievable player and will be a very big part of this England squad and the success we have in the coming years.”
Will Chelsea jump on Jude’s signature?
Bellingham has already featured in his country’s achievements in the past 12-months.
He was involved in the run to the European Championship final last summer.
Dortmund’s emerald will potentially play an even bigger part at the World Cup in Qatar.
Yet, as much as it’s been a terrific journey for the former Birmingham City product, soon he must move on to the next stage of the career.
By that, we mean challenging for the grandest competitions domestically.
Fighting for the Premier League is probably the place to start.
To do that, Bellingham must undergo a return to England.
Thankfully for him, there will be a long line of suitors waiting when, or if, he decides to leave Dortmund.
Chelsea are due to be right near the front of the queue waving their chequebook.
Todd Boehly is apparently eager to add Bellingham to his books and will certainly have to break the bank to do so.
But in the name of moving Graham Potter’s group forward, the price might be just an expensive side note in the grander picture.