One-time England international Joey Barton believes that Wayne Rooney should succeed Steven Gerrard as the Three Lions’ captain.

The Liverpool midfielder is expected to retire from international duty when the country’s World Cup campaign officially ends in a bid to prolong his club career.

Rooney is widely seen as England’s best player despite his below-par displays in Brazil, which contributed to Roy Hodgson’s men failing to make it out of Group D.

Even though the 28-year-old has been heavily criticised by fans and pundits through most of his international footballing life, Barton feels that he’s the right man to wear the armband next:

“The leader at the moment is maybe [Joe] Hart or Rooney, but for me it’s Rooney” he told talkSPORT. “People are on his case and they keep chewing him up but what more do they want him to do? The guy works his socks off.

“People like JT [John Terry] take pride in being the captain and Wayne Rooney is in that mould. The more responsibility he has, the better he is. Wayne Rooney is our best player, he should be played in his best position and work the others around him.

“[He should play] in that number ten role where he played against Uruguay, where he affected the game and got his goal.”

Rooney’s performance against Italy in England’s World Cup opener was widely described as abject, but he responded with a goal against Uruguay in the 2-1 defeat which effectively sealed group exit.

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