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Jordan Henderson to captain England as Southgate confirms Rooney won’t play vs. Slovenia

England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Jordan Henderson will captain England against Slovenia on Tuesday night, with Wayne Rooney dropped from the national side.

Henderson has been handed the armband ahead of Joe Hart and Gary Cahill, and will follow in the footsteps of Steven Gerrard in leading his country, having taken on the captaincy at Anfield when Gerrard left two years ago.

“I’ve been very impressed with him [Henderson],” explained Southgate at the pre-match press conference on Monday evening.

“What’s stood out for me is that he’s captained a club where he’s had to take over from one of the biggest players in English football.

“In this group he has a voice, an opinion, and ideas of what we need to work on, and good tactical awareness. He’s used to the responsibility of captaining a big football club.”

While Henderson’s captaincy is only confirmed for this fixture, with Rooney continuing as the England captain, he is the favourite with the bookmakers to take on the role permanently in future.

Meanwhile, Rooney’s removal from the national side is long overdue but Southgate insists it is only tactical: “It’s very straight forward. We’ve looked at the way Slovenia play, which we did midway last week. And we profiled the kind of midfield we wanted to play.

“It is in no reflection to Rooney’s performance at the weekend, in fact we were happy with the way he played. It was not an easy decision to make but we felt it was the right one.”

The final international break of the year takes place in November, with England playing against Scotland (11th) and Spain (15th).

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