Hodgson earmarks Rooney for future England captaincy

The new manager believes the Manchester United striker has all the right credentials to lead the country into a new era as current captain Steven Gerrard is now 32
England manager Roy Hodgson has lined up Wayne Rooney as a future captain in succession to Steven Gerrard when the Liverpool midfielder retires from the international scene.

Hodgson has yet to name a vice-captain for Euro 2012 as a deputy to Gerrard, but judging by the former West Brom manager's quotes in a press conference yesterday, Rooney may get the nod -  despite the talismanic striker being suspended for the Three Lions' opening two Group D fixtures against France and Sweden.

Thereafter, Hodgson seems likely to install Rooney as vice-captain. And if he judges that his temperament is right and he proves up to the task, he is the favourite to wear the armband for England when Gerrard calls time on his England career.

Hodgson is not alone in thinking that Rooney has the right credentials for the job; former coach Fabio Capello has also spoken glowingly about the 26-year-old captaining the national side.

The new boss, however, told reporters: “Vice-captain is something we’re considering and Wayne would come into the reckoning.

“We’re having to take it on a game-by-game basis but Wayne would be considered.”

The Manchester United striker is expected to miss tonight's friendly with Belgium at Wembley as Hodgson is still trying to work out his starting line-up for the opening game against France, which is just nine days away.

Rooney will obviously play no role in that game, and his place is expected to be taken by his club-mate Danny Welbeck, who has proved his fitness in training this week.

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