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14th Nov 2018

Fabian Delph set to captain England in USA friendly

Fabian Delph will captain England in the The Wayne Rooney Foundation International on Wembley on Thursday night, as Rooney will be introduced from the bench

Reuben Pinder

Delph will wear the armband for Wayne Rooney’s farewell

Fabin Delph will wear the captain’s armband for England’s friendly against the United States on Thursday, Gareth Southgate has confirmed.

The Manchester City player is likely to be the most senior player in the starting XI, as Southgate will rest a lot of first team players ahead of the UEFA Nations League match against Croatia on Sunday.

Jadon Sancho is expected to make his first start for England against the USA, and it is expected that the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ben Chilwell and Trent Alexander-Arnold could all play from the start too.

The friendly, which has been arranged in order to give Wayne Rooney a well deserved send-off after a long and successful (on a personal level) England career, will see the former England captain substituted on from the bench, hence Delph being given the armband.

The friendly has been dubbed the ‘The Wayne Rooney Foundation International’ by the FA, but controversially, the charity will not receive money from gate receipts.

The decision to invite Rooney back into the England squad for one last hurrah has been met with criticism, with some claiming that it devalues the England cap.

However, other international legends have been granted similarly fancy send-offs. Lukas Podolski, for instance, had a farewell friendly at Borussia Dortmund’s stadium in 2017 which ended 1-0 to Germany with Podolski himself scoring the only goal of the game: a trademark thunderbolt.

Rooney will play no part in England’s game against Croatia on Sunday, when Southgate will field his strongest team as England hope to avoid relegation in the UEFA Nations League.