Jordan Henderson favourite to become permanent England captain after Wayne Rooney left out against Slovenia
England clash with Slovenia on Tuesday night and it’s the first time for years that Wayne Rooney has been dropped for his country. The forward has occasionally been rested for the Three Lions but Gareth Southgate has effectively relegated the Manchester United man to the bench.
Rooney might remain the captain in theory but Jordan Henderson now has the armband, with Southgate putting his trust in someone who recently replaced Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain. The jury was out on Henderson for many Liverpool fans until this season although the midfielder has now demonstrated that he is the right man to lead the Reds.
Wayne Rooney remains an international player for now, although Southgate has a difficult decision to make. After all, if Rooney doesn’t fit the right profile of player to face Slovenia, surely the same applies when England reach a major tournament and face sides better than World Cup qualifying opponents.
We had previously listed the below captain candidates and felt as though Smalling, Kane, Hart, Dier and Cahill were potential players to take the armband although it now appears as though Henderson will usurp them all as Rooney is gradually phased out of the international set-up.
Chris Smalling 5/2
Smalling is likely to be a permanent fixture of future England squads, with a potential partnership with John Stones likely to be the status quo for the next few years.
Louis van Gaal clearly felt the central defender had potential with the armband and claimed Smalling would replace Rooney and Michael Carrick as United captain eventually.
Harry Kane 7/2
Kane’s Euro 2016 was pretty bad. Although it was his first major tournament and we shouldn’t forget he’s been largely brilliant in a Tottenham shirt for two seasons.
Indeed, the striker is the Spurs vice-captain and might end up being an England legend if the next manager realises that he’s better off staying away from taking corners and free-kicks.
Joe Hart 5/1
Hart has a big mouth which marks him out for captain in one regard. However, if you talk the talk, you need to walk the walk and his errors at Euro 2016 were laid bare against Russia, Wales and Iceland.
Therefore, while he’s a senior figure within the squad, he’s also not certain to keep Jack Butland away from that number one shirt.
Eric Dier 7/1
Another relative newcomer to international football, Dier was one of the few players to emerge from Euro 2016 with some credit. The deep-lying midfielder provided a useful foil for the defence and scored from a free-kick against Russia.
However, Dier doesn’t seem like the most natural of leaders and it’s not clear that he has a long-term future simply because he played a good season in this position for Tottenham.
Gary Cahill 10/1
The international future is unclear for someone who was vice-captain in France, with the Chelsea defender now aged 30 and clearly not on a par with club team-mate John Terry.
With Stones chomping at the bit to become a first-team regular for England and Smalling the number one central defender, it would seem like a backward step for Cahill to get the nod.