Manchester United manager David Moyes believes Wayne Rooney is exhibiting all the qualities required to captain the club on a full-time basis.
Rooney’s long-term future at Old Trafford is far from certain with talks yet to commence over an extension to his contract, which is due to expire in 18 months.
Despite the uncertainty as to whether the England striker’s Manchester United career will stretch into a second decade, the 28-year-old has been in outstanding form this season both in terms of his goalscoring output and, according to Moyes, his "leadership" of the team.
"Do you know what I see more than anything in Wayne? I see leadership," he told the club's official website. "I see somebody who wants to take responsibility for the team. I see somebody who cares for how he plays and how the team plays. More than anything that is what I see from Wayne.
"Maybe if he is not quite at the top of his form, I will need him to drop in at times and he has no problem doing any of the jobs. He is getting to an age now where he realizes he is not a boy any more. He is one of the senior men in the team. He is actually on the verge of being one of the great legends at this club.
"Because of that I think he is saying I have got to take responsibility for results and for performances and make sure the players are doing it on the pitch. The players are responding. In the dressing room now Wayne is one of those who is beginning to call the shots."