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Wayne Rooney Reportedly Will Remain as England Captain

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2016

NICE, FRANCE - JUNE 27: Wayne Rooney of England during the UEFA EURO 2016 Round of 16 match between England and Iceland at Allianz Riviera Stadium on June 27, 2016 in Nice, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Interim England manager Gareth Southgate has reportedly told Manchester United star Wayne Rooney he will remain the captain of the Three Lions under his watch, according to the Daily Mirror's John Cross

Cross wrote that Southgate called Rooney on Thursday to let him know he will captain the team in the four upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The captain's armband likely means Rooney will keep his spot in the starting XI as well, despite his poor start to the 2016-17 Premier League campaign.

Per Cross, Rooney got in touch with Southgate earlier in the week to offer his support for the interim boss following Sam Allardyce's dismissal. He reportedly didn't seek any assurances regarding his spot, but it seems that's what he got.

Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney gestures to his team-mates during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 24, 2016. / AFP / ANT
ANTHONY DEVLIN/Getty Images

The 30-year-old is England's top scorer, but he has started the new season in poor form, scoring just one Premier League goal so far. He missed out on a starting place in the 4-1 win over champions Leicester City on Saturday, and with the team putting together one of their best matches yet, plenty of fans have called for him to be dropped from the starting XI.

Liam Canning of the Daily Mirror thought United manager Jose Mourinho's selection choice could be monumental:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

This feels like a huge moment in Wayne Rooney's future at Man Utd. Finally a manager steps up and does the right thing.

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Southgate's decision to stick with Rooney as the captain shouldn't come as a huge surprise. The England under-21 manager is unlikely to be promoted to the full-time job with the seniors, and during a four-match cameo, he'll be looking for continuity.

England easily qualified for the 2016 UEFA European Championship and were drawn into a simple qualifying group for the World Cup. Southgate's first match in charge will be on Oct. 8 against Malta, a team that has never qualified for a major tournament and sits outside the top 150 in the FIFA World Ranking.

With Harry Kane sidelined by an injury, there's plenty of space in the attacking third for Rooney and team-mate Marcus Rashford, who was left out of the under-21 squad and is likely to be called up to the senior side.

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