sport

Gerrard tips Rooney as leader

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard believes Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney should succeed him as England captain.

Gerrard retired from international football following the World Cup in Brazil, and speculation is rife over who will take the England armband.

England manager Roy Hodgson will name his new skipper on Thursday when he announces his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland on September 8 and it is expected that Rooney, who was recently installed as Manchester United captain by Louis van Gaal, will get the nod.

Gerrard said in the Mail on Sunday: "Wayne is a natural leader. Aside from being a top player, one who commands respect within the group, Wayne is passionate about representing his country and won't be fazed by the responsibility.

"Before a game, he is one of the most vocal players in the dressing room. He wouldn't be afraid of speaking up and talking to someone one to one, telling them what is expected.

"When he was my deputy, he gave me great support and during our 11 years with England I saw him blossom.

"There were times when, as a young lad, he didn't always say the right things in the dressing room but he has matured and chooses his words carefully."

Rooney appears to be the obvious choice given that Frank Lampard, who was England's vice-captain in Brazil, is no longer a guaranteed starter for the national side.

The 28-year-old United talisman captained England in a friendly against Brazil in Qatar in November 2009 and in a World Cup qualifier against San Marino in October 2012.