Jamie Carragher: West Ham United star Declan Rice set for major battle with Jude Bellingham for England captaincy
West Ham star Declan Rice faces a battle with Jude Bellingham to become the next England captain, according to Jamie Carragher.
The two young midfielders have established themselves as regulars in midfield for Gareth Southgate, and impressed in the opening World Cup game against Iran and are now expected to start again against the USA on Friday night (25 November).
Rice has long been tipped to take over from Harry Kane as England captain once the Spurs striker hangs up his international armband, but Carragher told Sky Sports (25 November) that he believes Jude Bellingham is now a contender too.
“We know he’s a special talent and he already feels like one of the main players in the England team,” he said.
“It’s only the very special players who do that – it was the same with Michael Owen and it was the same with Wayne Rooney.
“I think Bellingham and Declan Rice are going to be the mainstays in England’s midfield for the next two or three tournaments. The two of them will be vying with each other over the next couple of years to see who is the next captain of England.
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“When Kane eventually gives the armband up and isn’t involved in the England squad, it’ll be either Bellingham or Rice who will be captain.”
England have never been short of leaders in recent times, and that isn’t about to change now as the generation starts to switch to the next one.
Kane was the stand-out leader when Wayne Rooney retired and gave up the captaincy, but when Kane eventually decides to do the same there will be a number of players capable of stepping up to wear the armband.
Rice has been the captain of West Ham officially since the start of this season, but he’s been the captain for a couple of seasons now on the pitch as Mark Noble found his minutes limited.
He would be the ideal choice for anyone, but Bellingham at just 19 is captaining Borussia Dortmund at times and only growing as a more influential figure for club and country.
Realistically it doesn’t matter who wears the armband because you need more than just one leader on the pitch, but it’s certainly a good problem for the England manager to have and it’s great that Rice is involved in the conversation.