Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Scott Parker and Ashley Cole - England are in the process of losing a generation of superstars. A generation of leaders who didn't shy away from captaining their club or country.
All these veterans are on the wrong side of 30 and unlikely to play beyond the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, if even that. Steven Gerrard currently leads the England side, but for how long? He is unlikely to be replaced by any of the above players. Let's take a glance at who can replace the Liverpool legend as the captain of the three lions.
1) Wayne Rooney
The Manchester United number ten is arguably the most vital man in his nation's squad. Aged 27, the forward has all the credentials to carry his side to much-awaited glory. Rooney is an all-round footballer who performs at several roles, the best being when he plays behind the main striker.
His ability to pick out passes as well as score goals make him the ideal man to lead from the front. However, Wayne Rooney isn't always able to replicate his outstanding club form for England. Would the added pressure of captain help or hinder Rooney's role in the national side?
2) Jack Wilshere
At just 21, young Jack Wilshere already has a large number of games under his belt and is a key member for Arsenal and England. The young midfielder can play in an attacking and defensive midfield role.
The ability to put in hard tackles, make good passes and dribble past players enable the former PFA Young Player of the Year to lead by example. His career has been hampered by injury and he hasn't shown too much promise for England yet, but there's only more to come from the youngster who sees his current England captain Steven Gerrard as his role model.
3) Joe Hart
Joe Hart burst onto the scene in 2009/10 and was awarded "The Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year for his heroics at Birmingham City. He then moved to Manchester City where he won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title in 2012, claiming the "Barclays Golden Glove" in both seasons for the maximum number of clean sheets recorded.
Hart has established himself as England's number one and has captained Manchester City on occasion. He has cemented his spot in side's starting line-up and is likely to stay at the top for a long time.
4) Jordan Henderson
Despite of being labelled "over-priced" and "over-rated", let me remind you that Jordan Henderson is a former England Under-21 captain. Earlier this year he was named the England Under-21 Player of the Year.
Although currently it does seem unlikely that Henderson will be appointed as the permanent England captain, a couple of solid seasons for Liverpool could see him cement his place in the national squad and someday earn him the title of England captain.
5) Phil Jones
If England plan to look to the future, they need not look any further than 21-year-old Phil Jones. The Manchester United starlet has already featured regularly for his club in numerous roles and has already claimed a Premier League medal.
Essentially a centre-back, Phil Jones has often been compared with former England captain John Terry. His athleticism and leadership qualities may see him earn the prestigious England armband in the years to come.
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