Harry Kane: Rooney should captain England v USA

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Harry Kane believes Wayne Rooney should captain England against the U.S. men’s national team at Wembley next week.

[ MORE: Rooney to undermine USMNT? ]

Rooney, 33, will make a one-off return for the Three Lions after retiring from international duty last August, as the English FA and manager Gareth Southgate want England’s all-time leading goalscorer to get a proper send-off.

The friendly against the USMNT has been renamed as the Wayne Rooney Foundation International, with plenty of fundraising events lined up at the home of soccer to benefit Rooney’s chosen charities.

It is believed that the current D.C. United striker will come on as a substitute against the USMNT and despite some opposition to the plan for Rooney to win his 120th and final England cap, the current captain of the English national team is delighted to have him back in the squad.

“Should he have the armband against the US? Yes, of course. He deserves it,” Kane said. “He was a great captain for us. He was the captain when I first got into the squad. If he plays, of course he’ll be the captain. I think it’s great. It’s a real good thing for everyone to be a part of. Wayne was one of our greatest ever England players. He’s our greatest goalscorer and so why not give him the send-off he deserves?

“I’ve not spoken to Gareth [Southgate] too much about how he’s going to do it or how long he’s going to play but it will be great to see him again and I’m sure he’ll be looking forward to seeing a few of the boys. It’s a great experience to have for the younger players in our team. Everyone should get right behind it and it will be a great send-off.”

There are many who believe Southgate and England are undermining the value of winning an international cap and the minutes Rooney will get should instead go to a young England hopeful, not a player who played for England for 14 years.

That is a fair enough argument to make, and this tribute does seem a little peculiar in many ways as Southgate has had huge success in using young players as the run to the 2018 World Cup semifinals proved.

But this is a real one-off.

Rooney will get a standing ovation from the Wembley crowd and that is the farewell he deserves after giving his all for his country for well over a decade. Kane’s comments sum up why he is class personified and has already replaced Rooney as the poster boy for the national team.