Jude Bellingham continued his fairytale start to life at Real Madrid by scoring a 95th-minute winner as the Spanish giants beat Getafe 2-1 at the Bernabeu.
Bellingham pounced in the fifth minute of stoppage time as Carlo Ancelotti’s men surged further clear at the top of La Liga.
The 20-year-old Real superstar has now scored in each of the four games he has played since his dream £88million switch from Borussia Dortmund.
Bellingham’s blistering start to life in Spain will also be music to the ears of England boss Gareth Southgate going into next weekend’s Euro 2024 showdown with Ukraine in Poland followed by a friendly against Scotland in Glasgow.
And just as pleasing for Southgate will be that skipper Harry Kane has finally got his move to Bayern Munich sorted, a year out from the Euros.
Jude Bellingham scored a late winner as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Getafe
The midfielder’s form will come as a boost to Gareth Southgate ahead of the international break
Southgate believes a new culture and country could yield small improvements in Kane, already England and Tottenham’s greatest goalscorer.
There is also the psychological value of winning a first career trophy, a much greater possibility at Bayern than Spurs, which would free Kane from a burden and might spur him to end England’s 58-year wait for a senior men’s tournament win.
Southgate, who cites not playing abroad as a regret in his career, said: ‘From a selfish England perspective it’s good his future’s settled now. Potentially that can be a distraction for players. But also it’s good for him he’s got to go and perform at a new club now. He’s been at one club for so long.
‘To have a change means you’ve got to impress new team-mates, new staff, new fans, and also there’s the life experience of having the breadth of adjusting to a new country. There’s a lot of positives there.
‘I’m sure for his own belief [winning a trophy] would be brilliant. I’m not sure that he’s going to become a better player but there might be other aspects of the mentality that this move will help him with. As you get older they’re probably the only bits that you can improve on.
Southgate believes a new culture and country could yield small improvements in Harry Kane
‘The big difference for Harry this year will be that there’s going to be a lot of games where Bayern are very dominant and in the opposition third so there will be a lot more play for him in the box than he had in the last couple of seasons.’
This England squad includes four foreign-based players — Kane, Bellingham, Fikayo Tomori at AC Milan and Jordan Henderson at Al-Ettifaq — a far cry from the days of all-Premier League based squads and a throwback to the 1990s when Paul Gascoigne, David Platt and Des Walker played in Serie A.
Southgate is lucky to find himself in charge of perhaps the best group of young England players in memory yet he sounds a note of caution.
‘It’s important as a coach with young players that you get the right balance,’ he says. ‘Acknowledging that they’re doing well but also driving them and insisting they keep improving. You can never take your foot off the gas.’