Fabian Delph to captain England in Wayne Rooney's farewell match against United States at Wembley

Agence France-Presse
Fabian Delph will captain England in their friendly against the United States on Thursday, manager Gareth Southgate has announced.

London: Fabian Delph will captain England in their friendly against the United States on Thursday, manager Gareth Southgate has announced.

It will be the first time the Manchester City midfielder has led his country, although Delph has confirmed he will pass the armband over to Wayne Rooney when the striker comes off the bench for his farewell England appearance.

Delph succeeds regular captain Harry Kane, with the Tottenham Hotspur forward likely to be rested from Thursday's match.

"Fabian is captain tomorrow night, and the players are keen that Wayne wears the number 10 and we believe that is a fitting tribute," said Southgate at a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

"Fabian is captaining his country for the first time and it is brilliant reward for him. He is an outstanding player and outstanding person.

"He is a huge leader within our group and I have really enjoyed working with him," added Southgate as he praised Delph's contribution in helping England reach the semi-finals of this year's World Cup in Russia.

"You don't give the England captaincy to someone unless you really think they can carry it and he has those outstanding attributes.

"He was one of the big reasons we were successful (in Russia)."

Delph added he would he happy to pass on formal leadership duties when former Everton and Manchester United star Rooney took the field for his 120th England appearance.

"When I first came into the England set-up, Wayne was captain and welcomed me and made me feel at home," Delph explained. "As soon as he comes on tomorrow, I will be giving him that armband back.

"We will give him a guard of honour. It will be a huge night for Wayne and we want to make it special for him."

Rooney, the record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England, has not played international football for nearly two years.

The 33-year-old is now based in the United States where he plays for Major League Soccer side DC United.

Thursday's match will be called 'The Wayne Rooney Foundation International' in support of his charity aiding disadvantaged children.

But Rooney's inclusion in the squad after such a long absence has led to accusations that the FA are devaluing the worth of an England cap.

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