England defender Reece James has revealed he has to stop himself from hitting the pestering Jude Bellingham.
The Chelsea right-back has taken the 17-year-old under his wing in the Three Lions camp for Euro 2020 and the pair have hit it off.
James is four years Bellingham’s senior and has learned to keep his cool.
“He is very young but a very good footballer, I look after him,” James said on the Lion’s Den YouTube page.
“He is still so young but he has a lot to learn so I try and help him where I can.
“He is always poking me and hitting me, he’s just so stupid and I will turn around and get so close to touching him but I never get around to it.”
James played against Scotland on Friday, making a boyhood dream come true by representing his country at a major tournament.
He added: “It was obviously a moment I dreamed of as a kid growing up, watching England in tournaments growing up, then walking out at Wembley with fans there to play my first game at a major tournament.
“My first tournament, my first game. I was nervous before but once the game started, I was in the zone and raring to go.”
England’s average age is the third-lowest in the tournament at just under 25, but James does not believe that is an issue.
“Everyone says we are such a young team but everyone this season has played a solid amount of minutes, it’s not like we are a young players that haven’t played,” James added.
“We have all played a lot, some have won trophies and some have done very well.
“The longer we are here in the competition, the stronger we are going to get as a team.”