Wayne Rooney Told He Will Replace Steven Gerrard as England Captain

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2014

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Wayne Rooney of England talks with Steven Gerrard during a training session at St Georges Park on August 12, 2013 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

England manager Roy Hodgson has touted Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney as his next captain, as reported by David Woods of the Daily Star

Woods reports that Hodgson has hinted current captain Steven Gerrard may retire from international football in the near future, and he discussed the merits of Rooney as his replacement.

Commenting on this and the player signing a new deal with United, Hodgson said:

Wayne, I'm sure, is a future captain of England because we are losing some of the famous players of the past who have served the country so well. When the day comes for Steven to hang up his boots, Wayne will be straight in there, I'm sure. I'm very pleased for him, for United and for us. It’s an advantage, no doubt, and I'm pleased for everyone concerned.

He’s a massive football man. Football is his life. There are plenty of other players we have at the moment who are 33, 34 and are still going strong, still doing good jobs for their club and country, so why not Wayne?

Rooney has been in sensational form this year after the departure from United of Sir Alex Ferguson. He has scored on 10 occasions in 22 league matches, creating 44 chances, per Squawka.

Stan Collymore tweeted his opinion about Rooney's credentials as a captain over the recent Christmas period:

Whether Rooney is a suitable captain for either England or United is debatable. Certainly there is little doubting his application on the pitch, and he allows his work-rate to set the example. This is an important factor when choosing a new captain.

However, there is a chance the player has hurt his reputation with his former indiscretions surrounding his contract negotiations. Twice he has wanted to leave Old Trafford, and twice he has ended up penning a new deal.

To be fair, Rooney has not done anything differently to the vast majority of modern day professional footballers, and the rules of the game of acquiring a new deal are set out by agents and the media.

Based on talent and hunger, becoming England captain is a natural next step for the player as his seniority and profile dictate such a move. Hodgson will be looking to appoint a captain who can stay on for several years, and the Liverpudlian is a perfect match.

Like United, England are short of natural leaders when you consider that they were once blessed with players such as John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. The aforementioned Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole will all be coming to the end of their international shelf life soon, and the country will have to bridge the transition into a new era.

Rooney can lead that new focus as the FA makes preparations toward the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup. It would be an opportunity for him to show his maturity in a prestigious role that only a few get the honour of doing.