Tom Cleverley backs Wayne Rooney to be a good England captain

Tom Cleverley claims Wayne Rooney has all the qualities needed to be a good captain

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England midfielder Tom Cleverley has backed Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney to inherit the Three Lions armband on a full-time basis.

Rooney captained Roy Hodgson's men in their 5-0 win over San Marino at Wembley on Friday, scoring twice.

And Cleverley believes the forward has the necessary qualities to succeed Steven Gerrard one day.

"I would certainly be happy playing under a captain like Wayne Rooney. He is a fantastic player and a good leader."

Tom Cleverley

"Wayne has all the attributes to be a good captain," said Cleverley. "He is a winner. You could tell that before the game because he was quite vocal in the dressing room.

"I am not the manager but I would certainly be happy playing under a captain like Wayne Rooney. He is a fantastic player and a good leader."

England are expected to make changes for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier in Poland and much of the focus has been on whether Ashley Cole will return at full-back in place of Leighton Baines.

Cleverley prefers to focus on the positive news that Hodgson has good options in that position.

"We are really lucky to have some great left-backs in this country," added Cleverley. "Baines and Ashley Cole are both fantastic players.

"They both get forward, are natural defenders and I wouldn't enjoy playing against either of them.

"If you include Ryan Bertrand and Kieran Gibbs as well, we are really lucky with the standard of defenders we have.

"Whoever is selected on Tuesday night, I am certain they will do a good job."

Progress

While Great Britain's involvement in the Olympic football tournament was hardly a triumph, Cleverley feels it played its part in helping him progress on the international arena.

"The Olympics were very important for me," he said.

"I am always happy to represent my country, but I have a bit more hard work and a few more games ahead of me before I become established."

Tom Cleverley

"It was perfect for me to get some games and play competitive matches on a big stage.

"Roy Hodgson was at a couple of the games, I was in good form and I have managed to carry that on into the season."

Not that Cleverley is taking anything for granted ahead of Tuesday's game, despite starting all four games for England this season.

"I am really proud to have started all four games so far," Cleverley added.

"I am always happy to represent my country, but I have a bit more hard work and a few more games ahead of me before I become established.

"There are plenty of top class midfielders in the Premier League."