Harry Kane says that Wayne Rooney ought to wear the captain’s armband when he makes his farewell appearance for England against the United States at Wembley next Thursday.
Kane, the England captain, made it plain that the surprise move to bring Rooney out of international retirement to honour him with a cameo against the USA had his full support.
Rooney, who plays for DC United, retired from England duty in August of last year after a near 14-year career in which he won 119 caps and scored a record 53 goals. It is expected that the 33-year-old will feature as a substitute against the USA.
There has been criticism of the decision to recall Rooney in this one-off manner, with the most insistent strand of it being that it devalues the worth of a cap. Kane strongly disagrees.
“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.”
The Football Association has designated the game as The Wayne Rooney Foundation International, with the player’s foundation one of a number of charities which will benefit from the proceeds. In football terms, it will serve as preparation for England’s last, and potentially decisive, Nations League tie against Croatia on 18 November.