He believes the youngster is an inspiration to those around him in the England under-21 dressing room.
"There's a realisation of his ability, Roy and Dan (Ashworth) have worked with him at West Brom," said Southgate.
"He's a player we really like and he's a pleasure to work with. He wants to improve all the time but he's just on the cusp of breaking into West Brom's team.
"He hasn't started the last couple of games. He's scored in a couple of high-profile games which have obviously elevated people's awareness of him.
"He is a young player who is developing. Last month we were protecting him a bit because he'd played a lot of games for West Brom but now he's not in the side they'll probably be happy for us to play him. He's the benchmark for the other strikers in our group, they can see what he is doing."
For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tribalfootball