BURTON-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom, Jun 8 – Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane says he is ready to succeed Wayne Rooney as England’s long-term captain.
England manager Gareth Southgate has eased Manchester United forward Rooney, 31, out of the picture and says he will decide who captains his side on a match-by-match basis.
He has praised Kane’s “leadership qualities” and despite only being 23, the Spurs hotshot says he is ready to carry the responsibility that comes with the armband.
Asked if he thought it might be too soon for him to take on the captaincy, Kane replied: “For me personally, I don’t think so.
“I’ve been captain for Spurs a few times. You wear an armband and it gets built up a lot to be a captain.
“It is a fantastic thing, but in this team — and in this day and age — there should be more than just one leader out there.
“For me, I don’t think it would (be too early), but that is a matter of opinion really.”
On Southgate’s praise, he added: “It’s fantastic to hear. Any player growing up as a footballer dreams of being England captain one day and I am no different.”
Injuries mean Kane has not played for England since the 1-0 win in Slovakia last September that was to prove the one and only game of Sam Allardyce’s ill-fated reign as manager.
Having sat out England’s last six games, he is due to make his first appearance under Southgate in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Glasgow.
Kane scored 29 goals to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot for the second year running, but he is desperate to improve an England record of five goals in 17 games.
“Club football, you are in a rhythm all the time,” said Kane, who scored seven goals in his last two games of the season for Spurs.
“You are playing week in, week out, but for your country, it’s not like that. You meet up every now and then. But it’s something I have got to get used to.
“I want to get back playing, hopefully get back scoring. If I score maybe a hat-trick at the weekend and a couple in the next game (against France on Tuesday), the ratio might not look so bad.
“As a striker, you can always change that. Five in 17 isn’t a terrible record, but it is something I want to improve. Hopefully that can start at the weekend.”