England boss Roy Hodgson has insisted that Wayne Rooney is still a major part of his plans for the European Championships this summer even though his side beat Germany this week without the 30-year-old.
Rooney, currently injured, watched on from the sidelines as England won Saturday’s friendly against Germany 3-2 in Berlin thanks to goals from Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier.
There have been subsequent suggestions that England would be better off without Rooney in the side but Hodgson dismissed criticism of the Manchester United captain.
Speaking about Rooney, Hodgson said: “I have to repeat Wayne is our captain and he has captained the team extremely well in the past two years.
“He took us through a qualifying campaign where we had a complete success with 10 wins out out 10. It doesn’t please me too much that it is suggested now that the moment he is injured and doesn’t play he gets jettisoned in some way. He doesn’t deserve that.”
Kane and Vardy are in excellent form for club and country while Rooney has suffered a decline in recent years (although he was superb at the turn of 2016 prior to his injury).
At club level, Rooney also has to think about displacing Marcus Rashford in Louis van Gaal’s side as the 18-year-old continues to enjoy a rise to prominence. While the outlook isn’t exactly rosy for Rooney, his experience and knowhow is invaluable and he will no doubt have a strong end to the campaign following his return to fitness.