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Southgate: Not stupid to claim Real Madrid star Bellingham best player in the world

England coach Gareth Southgate believes Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham could currently be the best player in the world.

Two goals in victory over Osasuna yesterday has Bellingham boasting a record of eight goals from his first eight LaLiga games.

Southgate admitted: “It's not a stupid question.

“I haven't seen everybody and studied everybody playing. All I can say it is he's at the one of the biggest clubs in the world — arguably the biggest — and he's playing exceptionally well.

“He's currently the match winner for them so he's in a brilliant place."

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti has played Bellingham in an attacking position after losing centre-forward Karim Benzema to Al-Ittihad.

Southgate said: “We played him higher against Scotland, he had that freedom in the Ukraine game as well — and we didn't use the ball well enough in the final third.

“But he's always looked dangerous and had an impact around the opposing box with Dortmund and with us, without looking quite as calm as he has this season in front of goal.

“Real have found a nice balance with the athletic midfield they have behind and, having lost Benzema and lost Vinicius to injury, they have been adapting.

“He's been defending on the left wing in a couple of games — I can just imagine the reaction from all and sundry if I asked him to do that!"

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Paul Vegas

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