Former Arsenal defender Tony Adams has backed Declan Rice to replace Harry Kane as England captain. The Tottenham Hotspur striker claimed the armband from Wayne Rooney in 2018.
Despite Kane leading England to the World Cup semi-final the same year and the Euro 2020 final last summer, Adams has declared that he isn’t convinced by the 29-year-old’s role. Speaking to The Sun, Adams said: “Harry Kane is a great player, a top goalscorer, commands total respect from his team-mates and is rightly the first name on the England team sheet. So far, so good, but I have my reservations about him as captain. It’s not because I doubt his abilities as a leader but if Gareth Southgate ever needs to change things he cannot take Harry off.
“All strikers have a bad day occasionally, even Harry, but nothing looks worse to the rest of the team than if the skipper is subbed. You look across to the bench, see your leader sitting there and it sends a bad message. Consequently, Harry stays on when it might be detrimental to the team. Ok, that might not be very often, but it does happen.
“Personally, I’d have given the captaincy to Declan Rice. I love his character, he had a fantastic Euros, and you know he’s going to give you 90 minutes. Don’t forget the last time we won it we had a West Ham captain so it makes perfect sense!”
Kane was brought off by Gareth Southgate with 14 minutes left during the Three Lions’ 6-2 thumping of Iran on Monday, while Rice remained on the pitch until the full-time whistle. The West Ham ace is one of the first names on the team sheet after a hugely impressive Euro campaign and has now racked up 35 international caps.
Following their spectacular opener against Iran, there is no doubt that Southgate will remain with Kane as captain while both players are likely to play a key role in matches against US and Wales - with the Spurs man only two goals away from equalling Wayne Rooney’s international goal record.