Rooney to honor debutants

Wayne Rooney will speak to the England players at length before their game against the United States and will also hand out first ever England shirts to the likely debutants Callum Wilson, Lewis Dunk and Alex McCarthy, according to head coach, Gareth Southgate.

The former England captain is expected to be a second-half substitute during the game, which will act a farewell game for England’s all-time top scorer.

“We will have some debuts and Wayne is going to present the shirts to the debutants tomorrow, and I have asked him to talk to the guys about a couple of areas in particular,” Southgate told reporters, according to Independent.

“A lot of that has taken place with the more formal part tomorrow.”

The decision marks a continuation of Southgate’s policy of having England legends handing out shirts to debutants.

“We’ve done that for the last 18 months,” Southgate said.

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“Glenn Hoddle did Michael Keane, Ian Wright did Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham. Paul Parker came in, Lee Dixon did Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold got Prince William. It’s a big moment in a player’s life.”

The former Middlesbrough manager also praised Rooney, saying his ability to make the difference made him one of the three best England players of the last three decades.

“There have been brilliant players I played with,” Southgate said.

“It doesn’t seem right to leave Frank Lampard, David Beckham, Teddy Sheringham and Alan Shearers out of the list. But for me Paul Gascoigne, Paul Scholes and Rooney were just able to do that little bit more than all of the others.”

“They were incredible players across that period, they were almost three different moments. I played with Wayne at the start of his career. For him to go on and overtake Sir Bobby Charlton’s record and Gary Lineker’s record is incredible.”

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