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Roy Keane salutes England’s star men as they march into World Cup quarter-finals

England set up a mouth watering World Cup quarter-final against reigning champions France.

Jordan Henderson and Jude Bellingham starred in England's latest World Cup win© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Roy Keane was full of praise for two of England’s outstanding performers as they stormed into the World Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win against Senegal.

England set up a mouth watering World Cup quarter-final against reigning champions France as Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka struck against Senegal.

Playing in their first knockout match on the world stage since the agonising extra-time 2018 semi-final loss to Croatia, Gareth Southgate’s men showed their quality to progress in Qatar.

Kane became England’s highest ever scorer at major tournaments after Henderson opened the scoring, with Saka superbly wrapping up a comfortable 3-0 win against Senegal in Sunday’s last-16 contest at Al Bayt Stadium.

The reward is a return to Al Khor for a crunch clash against France next Saturday as last year’s European Championship runners-up take on the World Cup holders.

It was England’s midfield duo of Bellingham and Henderson who were singled out for praise by former Ireland captain in his role as an ITV Sport pundit.

"When it's a bit tight you need a midfielder to run and produce a bit of magic, and that's what Bellingham did,” he said, reflecting on England’s opening goal.

"This is what you want from a midfielder, powerful, strong, anticipation, a little bit of luck but it's game over.

“He’s going to be a superstar that kid. We keep using the word but maturity, he plays like he’s played 100 times for England.

"I've not seen a young midfielder perform like that for years. You usually see it from a world-class player who's 26, 27. Everything he does in the game. We talk about what goes on in his brain.

"He's got that maturity, his decision-making, what's going on upstairs - it's huge for a midfielder. End product, final pass, the kid has everything."

England's Harry Kane scoring the second goal of the game during the FIFA World Cup Round of Sixteen match at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar. Picture date: Sunday December 4, 2022.© PA

Gary Neville also saluted Bellingham’s mature performance, as he suggested the Borussia Dortmund midfielder was destined for greatness.

"It's very rare you see a midfield player as comfortable in his own half as in the attacking half," Neville told ITV. "He looks like he can do absolutely everything. Is he a holding player, an attacking player? He's everything in one.

"Physically he's fantastic, so young but it's the composure, maturity and fearlessness I can't get my head around.

"I watched players play for England for many years, the weight of the shirt was enormous. He just doesn't feel it at all, he looks like he belongs out there, like he wants it and needs it in his life."

Keane was equally gushing in his praise for Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson, who he hailed as “a great professional”.

"Jordan’s an excellent player, just as important and a character - which is obviously what Gareth likes," added Keane. “Put it this way, Jurgen Klopp has been playing him for a long time and if he wasn’t sure of him, he wouldn’t be playing him."

Bellingham was equally eager to salute Henderson as he told ITV Sport: "Brilliant performance from Jordan today. I’ve seen some of the rubbish written about him playing and it’s ridiculous.

“He’s so underrated, technically. And he’s delivered again in a big game with a massive goal. So I think it’s time he gets a bit of respect."

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