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Tuesday , 17 July 2018

2018 World Cup qualifier: Kane to captain England against Slovenia

Harry Kane appears close to becoming Wayne Rooney’s successor as permanent England skipper after being handed the captain’s armband for Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia by manager Gareth Southgate.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker, 24, captained England against Scotland and France at the end of last season, with Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson taking on the captaincy against Malta and Slovakia last month.

“He is captain for tomorrow, which he knew a month ago. We’d already had that conversation,” Southgate told a press conference on Wednesday at Tottenham’s training ground in Enfield, north London.

“He’s somebody whose leadership qualities are invaluable to us as a team. He’s in a very good moment as well in terms of his form.”

Kane has scored 13 goals in his last eight appearances for club and country.

“It makes me very proud,” he said.

“As a kid you want to play for your country and you always dream about being captain, especially walking out at Wembley. That will be an amazing thing for me personally.”

Southgate has rotated the armband between Kane, Henderson and Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill in recent months after Rooney lost his place as a regular starter. Rooney has since retired from international football.

Kane’s Spurs team-mate Dele Alli will miss the game against Slovenia after being given a one-game ban by FIFA for making a middle-finger gesture during last month’s 2-1 win over Slovakia.

England require two points from their final two qualifying games, against Slovenia at Wembley and away to Lithuania on Sunday, to secure a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Southgate said he had not decided who will captain the team against Lithuania.


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