England manager Gareth Southgate has backed Declan Rice to become a future captain for his national team – and he would be exemplary in the role.
West Ham United’s pivotal midfielder is already the club’s on-field captain and the recent confirmation that Southgate believes Rice is within the mix to become the next England captain, will be a revelation for Hammers fans.
The England boss said that “without a doubt he has all the attributes to be a captain” following their 2-1 friendly win over Switzerland on Saturday, and described his performance as “really mature.”
Club legend Mark Noble is expected to pass on the captain’s armband fully to Rice next season when he hangs up his boots, and this is only a testament to his level of maturity and experience at such a young age.
Now, being only 23, he is already in line to surpass Harry Kane as the captain of the England squad when the time comes.
Since making his senior debut in 2019, the 23-year-old has already featured 27 times for the Three Lions.
Rice excelled in last year’s European Championships and has been one of the few consistent and undroppable England players in recent years.
A number of those involved in the national team setup are also club captains in the Premier League and could also rival Rice for the role. However, his youth and likability gives the midfield maestro an edge over the likes of Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson.
The experience gained from this year’s Europa League campaign at West Ham will have also added to his CV, as Rice looks to play a major role in helping the Hammers reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time ever.
The London-born footballer is continuously proving himself on and off the field, that he can be a world-class player in years to come. Rice has already highlighted that he can successfully captain a squad to great heights, and the next step up might not be too far away.