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Wayne Rooney backs ‘natural leader’ Harry Kane to captain England at World Cup

The Spurs striker is set to go to Russia as one of the world’s top strikers.

Wayne Rooney claims some England players are not hurt by defeat and should learn from the attitude of Harry Kane.

Former England skipper Rooney described the Tottenham forward as the best striker in Europe during a wide-ranging discussion on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football programme.

Rooney feels Kane should be the man to captain England at this summer’s World Cup because of his natural leadership qualities.

Rooney said: “At the moment he is probably the best striker in Europe.

“He can go where he really wants to. He is that good. He is like a young Alan Shearer. The goals he scores are all different types of goals.

“His mentality – it hurts him when you don’t win and you can’t say that about all the players. He really wants to win and score goals, he wants to improve.

“He is the natural leader now in that England team. He is the one that really has to wear the armband. If England are going to do well this summer it’s on how well he does.”

Kane, 24, was recently linked with Real Madrid and Rooney believes Spurs could have a problem retaining him if they do not win silverware soon.

Rooney said: “I think the problem Tottenham have is his motivation is goals. His motivation is going to change from goals to trophies and if Tottenham don’t win trophies in the next year or two, he is going to want to go to play elsewhere to win those trophies.”

Rooney, 32, rejoined Everton last summer after spending 13 years at Manchester United.

He won five Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford but he feels his old club are unlikely to catch rivals Manchester City – whom they currently trail by 13 points – in the near future.

Rooney said: “In terms of catching Manchester City, certainly not this season and – if I’m being perfectly honest – it’ll be very difficult next season if Manchester City keep playing the way they are playing. They are almost getting to the level Barcelona were at four or five years ago.”

Rooney is impressed by the City team former Barca and Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has built.

He said: “It’s not nice to say, but if you can’t enjoy that style of football and that way of playing you won’t enjoy football. It’s great to watch. It’s almost perfect football at times.

“I think Guardiola is putting the foundations in place of emulating that Barcelona team. You can see they’re well on the way to doing that.”

Rooney does at least think United have made a fine signing in Alexis Sanchez.

He said: “For me he is the perfect player for Manchester United. He’s got aggression, passion, desire. You can see he is a winner. That’s what Manchester United have lacked.”

Rooney was an unused substitute as current club Everton were thrashed 5-1 at Arsenal on Saturday and he found it painful viewing.

He said: “I said at half-time to the lads I was actually embarrassed sat on the bench because the performance was not good enough for what we want, and how we know we can play.”

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