The pair lined up together in midfield as England booked their place in the last-16 of the World Cup.
Jude Bellingham has heaped praise on team-mate Jordan Henderson for his performance in England’s 3-0 victory over Wales on Tuesday evening.
The Three Lions confirmed their advancement into the round-of-16 as Group B winners thanks to a landslide victory over their neighbours.
After a goalless opening 45 minutes, Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a wonderfully-hit free-kick five minutes into the second half. Manchester City’s Phil Foden then doubled the advantage for Gareth Southgate’s side, who then rounded off the statement performance with another fine individual goal from Rashford, this time gliding past Connor Roberts before firing past goalkeeper Danny Ward.
Southgate made a number of changes for the contest in Al Rayyan, with Henderson’s introduction passing Bellingham a license to operate in a more attack-minded role alongside both of England’s goalscorers.
But despite catching the eye with their output in the final third, the Borussia Dortmund sensation has hailed the Liverpool skipper for the energy he brought to the side in his first start of this winter’s World Cup finals.
“I think we had a high energy today,” said the 19-year-old, speaking to the BBC after the game. “We realised in the game the other day that we weren’t aggressive enough, we were too passive, so it was important for us to kind of be a bit more on the front foot.
“Hendo [Henderson] brings that intensity every time he plays, and when he gives you that confidence to go and press, I can go and push on and Dec [Declan Rice] can be aggressive.
“We won a lot of balls really high up the pitch which was key to us retaining the pressure and keeping them under.”
Despite playing a 4-3-3 in the opening matches of Group B against Iran and the United States, Southgate reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation for Tuesday’s clash, with Declan Rice and Henderson tasked with building a trustworthy base for England’s attacking quartet to force devastation in the final third.
Henderson played the full 90 minutes in the Middle East, despite being on the receiving end of a poorly-timed challenge from Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey midway through the second half, and won the most duels of any player on the pitch.
Having advanced to the first knockout round as winners of their group, England face Group A runners-up and this year’s Africa Cup of Nations winners, Senegal, on Sunday afternoon.