After donning the armband in a scoreless draw with Germany that provided far more positives than negatives, Gareth Southgate has confirmed Eric Dier will serve as captain once again when England take on Brazil on Tuesday night – which begs the question of whether the second-youngest skipper in the history of the national team should take on the role full-time when the World Cup in Russia comes around next summer.
— England (@England) November 13, 2017
With a wide cohort of players with relatively similar ability to choose from, Dier belongs to a slimmer category of players almost certain to be in Southgate’s starting XI for the World Cup or at the very least the squad, which instantly puts him ahead of most in the race to be skipper.
Furthermore, he’ll likely line up as the most defensive element in central midfield, a crucial area for England if their qualifying campaign is anything to go by due to a lack of high-quality options, and he’s one of the rare few players to regularly deliver in a Three Lions jersey in recent years – most notably goals against Germany and Russia.
Perhaps most importantly though, considering Southgate is looking far beyond the summer tournament as England try to build for the future, Dier represents a long-term potential captain at the age of 23.
For what Dier offers in promise, he inevitably lacks in terms of experience. No doubt, 22 caps alongside 199 club appearances is impressive for a 23-year-old, but Dier’s still a young player learning his trade – particularly in captaincy terms.
In fact, Friday night represented just the fifth time he’s worn the captain’s armband throughout his senior career, the other four outings being for Tottenham in the League Cup and FA Cup.
Of course, he’ll never be able to amend that without being given chances with the armband, but there are more experienced captains in the England squad in the form of Gary Cahill and Jordan Henderson – both of whom have worm the armband for club and country in recent years. That, however, could be addressed somewhat by retaining Dier as captain for the remaining warmup friendlies.
So, should Dier wear the armband next summer? Let us know by voting below…