James explains his relationship with Bellingham amidst reported Chelsea interest

Chelsea defender Reece James admitted he feels extremely protective over international teammate, Jude Bellingham.

Speaking on the official England YouTube channel, James explained his relationship with the Borussia Dortmund teenager.    

Bellingham has recently been linked with a potential future move to Stamford Bridge, the home of several England members.

EuroSport also say that Chelsea are considering bidding for the £100 million-rated midfielder.

Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell joined James as part of Gareth Southgate’s 26-man group for the European Championships.

One aspect that stands out from the Three Lions camp is how well all the players connect on a personal level, despite their club rivals.

Bellingham one of the boys

And even though his footballing base is across the continent from many of his peers, Bellingham has seemingly settled into the squad nicely.

The 17-year-old is probably closest to Jadon Sancho, as the talented pair partnered up at Dortmund last season.

Photo by INA FASSBENDER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

However, he now has a friend in James, who confessed he felt like a big brother to the midfielder.

“He’s obviously very young but a very good footballer,” said Chelsea’s Champions League winning full-back.

“I kind of look after him. He’s still so young and got a lot to learn.  I try and help him where I can and (use) the mistakes I’ve made as well.”

You’ve got a friend in me

It’s clear to see that their rapport has blossomed during their time together with the national team.

Bellingham had plenty of kind words to say about James, calling the Blues right-back ‘one of the best players in his position in the league and maybe in Europe.’

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea fans will hope the duo can keep up their friendship further down the line, especially if they are going to domestic colleges.

Keeping the BVB youngster sweet may also help in their pursuit of Erling Haaland, who is Roman Abramovich’s top transfer target this summer.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.