England: Who Should Replace Rooney as Captain?

England: Who Should Replace Rooney as Captain?

Who Should Replace Wayne Rooney as England Captain?

Last week Wayne Rooney stunned the footballing world by announcing his international retirement. The 31 year-old is something or a marmite character for England fans up and down the country but his stats since making his debut as an 18 year-old speak for themselves. He departs the national team as the most capped outfield player with 119 caps to his name whilst also becoming the first player to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s long standing goalscoring record. Rooney steps down with 53 goals to his (4 more than Charlton) and will go down as one of the best players to ever grace the famous all white England strip.

Rooney had a huge impact on the national team during his 13 years which has seen him leave a big hole in the side which needs filling. He’s led the line for The Three Lions since he made his debut and the biggest task comes in appointing a new captain, which they’ll be plenty of takers for. Head coach Gareth Southgate has a huge decision on his hands as he looks to pick Rooney’s successor, but with a young, inexperienced side at his disposal there aren’t too many candidates that jump out. Read below to see who we think should be Wayne Rooney’s long-term successor as England captain.

Harry Kane

Seen as the long term replacement for Wayne Rooney in attack, Harry Kane is one of the most exciting prospects in European football at the moment. The 24 year-old continues to silence his critics season-on-season after being initially branded as a ‘one season wonder’. Last year saw Kane become just the fourth player in Premier League history to hit 20 goals in three consecutive seasons which proves he certainly has the firepower to lead the line for England – but does he have the temperament and responsibility to be made skipper? Of all the major contenders for the role he has the least caps (joint with Eric Dier), but his performances for Spurs can’t go unnoticed.

Hugo Lloris is the captain at Tottenham but his influence on the club saw him made vice-captain by Mauricio Pochettino which shows he isn’t afraid of having that extra responsibility. Kane is an influential member behind the scenes and if his fellow teammates see him hitting the back of the net on a regular basis whilst wearing the armband surely that can only work in England’s favour? With him still yet to enter his peak years (24 years-old) Kane could be a natural long-term successor to Rooney and he’s an option that simply can’t be ignored by Southgate.


Harry Kane is the favourite to replace Wayne Rooney as captain after three fantastic seasons with Spurs

Jordan Henderson

One of the more popular calls to come in as skipper, Jordan Henderson has matured incredibly over the last few seasons to be in the running. The Liverpool midfielder has developed into an excellent holding midfielder since making the move to Merseyside and in-turn it’s seen him start to become a mainstay in the England set-up. Henderson has all the talents to become a reliable member of the Three Lions’ midfield and he also has plenty of experience when it comes to leading a side. Back in 2015 he appointed as the successor to Steven Gerrard as Liverpool’s club captain and he’s absolutely relished the role.

Brendan Rodgers made the brave call to make him captain and Jurgen Klopp has followed it up which speaks volumes. If he can handle the pressure at a club as huge as Liverpool then there’s no doubt he has all the characteristics to carry it through into international level. He has experience of captaining the England U21’s where he picked up 27 caps and he’s already been made skipper by Southgate in England’s recent clashes with Slovenia (October) and Spain (November) which shows he has plenty of trust in him and he looks like an excellent candidate to take over from Rooney.


Jordan Henderson has captained England both at senior & U21 level which makes him a serious contender

Gary Cahill

One of the most experienced members of the current England squad, Gary Cahill is one of the most favoured choices to be appointed as the new skipper. Now at 31 years of age, Cahill has an illustrious playing career behind him and he knows all about the demands and expectations of playing for England and Chelsea – where he’s won pretty much everything there is to win. Cahill has worked under some of the best managers and played with top players, who’s influence has certainly rubbed off on him. Antonio Conte made him captain last season in the absence of John Terry, skippering The Blues to the Premier League title and he’s now their leader full-time.

On paper Cahill looks like the perfect immediate fit if his performances and influence at club level are anything to go by but with this England squad so young and inexperienced at the moment, we feel that Southgate should go for someone slightly more long-term. Rooney retired at the age of 31 which Cahill currently is at, so he can’t offer the longevity that the likes of Henderson, Kane and Dier do for Southgate.


Gary Cahill is the most experienced of all the new potential England captains with 55 caps to his name

Eric Dier

An outsider for the England captains armband comes in the form of Eric Dier, who’s become a mainstay in the England side under Southgate. The Tottenham player may just be 23 years of age but he has an awful lot of experience behind him both in England and in Portugal with Sporting Lisbon. Dier has never had the responsibility of being made national team skipper but he has for his club side, which shows he has all the attributes required. And last summer he was one of the few bright sparks in a dismal England showing at Euro 2016, looking a class act in the middle of the park.

Dier goes about his business on the pitch quietly, not grabbing headlines like his colleague Kane in terms of goals etc. but he is an incredibly influential member of the squad which is why he’s being considered by many to replace Rooney. There’s no doubt he has the personality to thrive in a role like that but we can’t see him pipping the likes of Kane, Henderson & Cahill who’ve regularly been captains of their respective club sides.


Eric Dier was one of a few positives from Euro 2016

FootyAccumulators Choice – Harry Kane

There’s some strong contenders to gain the England armband with all of the four listed above all capable of doing a great job, but we think Tottenham striker Harry Kane would is the natural successor for Wayne Rooney. The Premier League golden boot winner has age on his side with him just 24 years-old which means he’s a perfect long term fit for the role. And his performances at club level for Tottenham also make him undroppable for England, which is yet another string in his bow. When picking an England captain you want someone who can lead by example and in Kane there isn’t anyone better on that front in the squad, all you have to do is look at his goalscoring record for both club & country.

His rise through the ranks with Spurs has been incredible and he has the ability to go on and break both of Wayne Rooney’s records (goalscoring and caps). Southgate chose him to lead out the Three Lions against Scotland and France at the end of last season which shows he’s aware of all the qualities he possesses and we’re fully behind him taking on the arm band going into a World Cup year!


We’re backing Harry Kane to replace Wayne Rooney as England captain