Liverpool ace delivers verdict on teammate after omission
By Dominic Toner
Jordan Henderson believes that Wayne Rooney is still the leader of the England dressing room.
Liverpool skipper Henderson will captain England on Tuesday night against Slovenia, with Rooney named on the bench for the World Cup qualifier.
Caretaker manager Gareth Southgate revealed that he had decided to drop his captain Rooney from the side for tactical reasons.
Former Sunderland midfielder Henderson has been Liverpool captain for almost 18 months, after replacing icon Steven Gerrard in June 2015.
He will now lead his nation out against Slovenia but still feels that Rooney’s omission doesn’t change any dynamics in the squad, with the experienced man a huge voice in the dressing room.
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“Wayne is very experienced and, for me, he has been one of the best players in the world for many years,” Henderson told the Football Association website. “He sets an example to all of us on and off the field. He is someone we all look up to as a captain and a leader for his experience and the type of person that he is.
“This doesn’t change anything for us as a team in terms of Wayne not starting. He is our captain, he leads by example and he’ll be ready to come on and make an impact when given the opportunity.”
Rooney has endured a difficult time in recent months and has also been left out of the starting team several teams for Manchester United.
The 30-year-old is England’s record goal scorer and most-capped outfield player, with 53 goals in 117 appearances.
Rooney can play in either midfield or in attack and faces a battle to regain his starting role, but is still expected to play a major role in the dressing room whilst he is still in the squad.
In other Liverpool news, the club’s supporters reacted on Twitter to Brad Smith’s star for Australia.