Gareth Southgate surprised by criticism over Wayne Rooney’s England recall

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Rooney has not played for his country for nearly two years and Press Association Sport understands he will make a late substitute appearance in a game which will be known officially as the Wayne Rooney Foundation International.

Southgate confirmed Rooney would play as a substitute in the friendly at Wembley but would not captain the side or wear his usual No 10 shirt. He was the captain when I first got into the squad.

If Kane is on the pitch against the USA at Wembley when Rooney makes his entrance, he is likely to hand the armband over to the former Manchester United and Everton striker.

We have an opportunity with the game at Wembley to pay tribute, " Southgate said.

"We have brought former players back to speak and present shirts. So if he plays, of course he'll be the captain".

"It's a real good thing for everyone to be a part of".

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The 33-year-old Rooney, now playing in Major League Soccer with DC United, has not played for England in nearly two years.

Southgate also defended the decision to include Rooney, who has not played for England for two years, but will collect his 120th cap against the United States. Wayne is one the greatest ever players to play for England, the greatest goalscorer to play for England, so why not give him the send-off he deserves?

"I'm looking forward to working with him and giving him the send-off he deserves, which isn't always possible".

"If we're also talking about helping young players develop in the global set-up, then surely celebrating Wayne's career in this way is an example to the next generation of England stars. It's important to recognise that if there's a football decision the organisation comes to me and the start point is, 'How would you feel about this?' If I don't think it's something suitable then it doesn't get any further".

"Having said that, we've given caps to people who haven't earned them in the past - I'm not going to name names - and you do wonder how on earth they got them".

"We are a odd country in that we bemoan the fact we haven't achieved as much as we'd like and then we have a player who should be held in the highest regard and we are spending a lot of time justifying giving him that tribute".

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