Gareth Southgate announces shock captain for USA friendly

Fabian Delph will captain England in their international friendly against USA on Thursday night.

Wayne Rooney, picking up his 120th and final England cap in a farewell appearance, will also wear the No.10 shirt on the players’ insistence.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is set to name a much-changed side for the match at Wembley, ahead of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League clash with Croatia.

Manchester City midfielder-cum-defender Delph has been hailed as an “outstanding leader” by Southgate. And former Leeds and Aston Villa star Delph insists it is the “highlight of his career”.

"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.

"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. 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 the summer)."

Southgate has stressed to his players that with the Premier League at its most intense he intends to rotate against the US. The England boss also believes it will be difficult for anybody to play in both this week’s matches.

As such, first choice front trio Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford could all be on the bench, to ensure they are fresh for the more important clash with the World Cup finalists.

Borussia Dortmund whizkid Jason Sancho looks set to be handed his first start, after coming off the bench in Rijeka for his debut last month.

Rooney will start the match on the bench, but is set to be handed the armband when he comes on, with the plan for the record goalscorer to feature in the second half.

The former Manchester United striker will also be given a guard of honour.

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