Gareth Southgate believes Arsenal target Declan Rice could one day captain England
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has ‘earmarked’ Arsenal target Declan Rice to captain England one day.
That’s according to a report from The Athletic, who have spoken about the 24-year-old midfielder.
Declan Rice’s future is set to be one of the big talking points of the summer.
Arsenal have made it clear they want to sign the West Ham United captain in the summer.
David Moyes wants a record transfer fee for Rice, but the Gunners believe they can negotiate down from that price.
Manchester United have also been credited with interest in the midfielder, but The Emirates looks like his most likely destination.
Rice has always been a leader during his time at West Ham.
He was named captain of the under-21s after just five games before his promotion to the senior side.
Rice was first handed the captain’s armband for the first team in 2019, and has been their de-facto captain since the start of the 2020/21 season.
Even though Mark Noble was still club captain, Rice had replaced him both on the pitch and as the on-field captain.
Now, Southgate is lining up Rice as a potential future England skipper, with Arsenal waiting to pounce this summer.
Southgate earmarks Arsenal target Rice as future England captain
The report from The Athletic states: ‘Rice has already been earmarked as a future England captain by both Moyes and Gareth Southgate.’
Currently, the armband is firmly on Harry Kane’s arm, and the striker doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere for some time.
However, Rice is five years Kane’s junior, and could take over that responsibility when he eventually retires.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta would really value having another young leader in the squad.
He’s already given plenty of responsibility to players of a similar age to Rice this season.
Martin Odegaard is club captain at 24, and Gabriel Jesus is also a leader within the squad.
Southgate’s faith in Rice will be very encouraging to those at Arsenal.
Granit Xhaka has been Arteta’s most vocal midfielder for some time at The Emirates.
Having Rice in the side to also dictate play can only benefit the team even more.
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