‘It’s so important for me to learn and get better’: Declan Rice has his sights set on England captaincy after being inspired by team-mates Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson
Declan Rice has his sights set on becoming England’s future captain after working with Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson on international duty.
Rice – who has pledged his international allegiance to England after representing the Republic of Ireland in three friendlies – has been inspired by his team-mates leadership skills during the Nations League.
Rice claims that he must continue to ‘learn’ and ‘get better’ as he looks to build upon his 11 international caps and establish himself as a leader.
Midfielder Declan Rice (above) has his sights set on becoming England’s future captain
Rice has admitted that the England captaincy is something he has always dreamed of and the 21-year-old is already making great strides towards that goal.
Rice has been handed the West Ham armband whenever club captain Mark Noble is absent and thanks 33-year-old for his guidance.
However, the Three Lions midfielder has admitted that it is Kane who he aspires to be like.
‘It’s just something that, as a kid, has always been one of my dreams – to be a captain,’ he said ahead of England’s Nations League clash with Belgium.
‘Coming up with Nobes as our captain and, me, being the rising player in the team, the manager has given me the armband when Nobes isn’t playing.
‘I’m taking it in my stride and I’m really lucky I’ve someone like Noble to help along the way.
Rice says he has been inspired by Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson on international duty
Rice has been handed the West Ham United armband when Mark Noble has been absent
‘I’m only 21 and captaining the team in big games like Liverpool and Manchester City – long may that continue.
‘If you look at Jordan and what he’s done for his whole career but, especially the last couple of years, it’s so important for me to learn and get better.
‘We know his qualities on the ball but you don’t realise until you play next to him, his leadership qualities. He is non-stop, always on at you in a good, positive way.
‘That gives you the confidence to go and fight for the badge.
‘With Harry, you feel his presence all the time. He wasn’t involved against Ireland but beforehand, he’s in the changing room, getting everyone ready.
‘He’s talking to the lads, individually. For a youngster like me, aspiring to be a future captain, that’s great.’
The 21-year-old claims that he must continue to ‘learn’ from Kane and Henderson to ‘get better’
England manager Gareth Southgate has said that Henderson is a ‘very vocal’ leader
England manager Gareth Southgate shared his thoughts on Kane and Henderson’s leadership skills, saying: ‘Everybody leads in different ways. I think the days are passing where everything was about Churchillian speeches.
‘Hendo is very vocal on the field but we have players in our team who might say very little on the field but take the ball under pressure which is leadership in a different way.
‘Some players are vocal in the dressing-room, some are not. We are not asking the players to make special speeches.
‘We have had a go at that in the past, for me it is not a total requirement of the team before the game.’
Kane is set to win his 50th international cap this weekend with England needing to beat Belgium and Iceland at Wembley to finish top of the group.
The England legend already has 32 goals for his country and is closing in on Wayne Rooney’s record of 53.