'Meticulous' Kane to skipper England

Tottenham striker Harry Kane, 24, will be England's youngest-ever captain at a World Cup.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane, 24, will be England's youngest-ever captain at a World Cup.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Harry Kane will become England's youngest-ever captain at a World Cup after Gareth Southgate formalised his appointment and praised the striker's "outstanding personal qualities".

The Tottenham Hotspur star, who boasts 12 goals from his 23 international appearances, had emerged as the favourite for a role Southgate has shared among his senior players to date.

Kane, 24, first captained his country at last summer's qualifying draw in Scotland, when his stoppage-time equaliser secured a point, and had worn the armband in three games since.

He has effectively been preferred to his club mate Eric Dier and Liverpool's Jordan Henderson.

Southgate had promoted the benefits of shared responsibility in qualifying - Gary Cahill and Joe Hart have also captained the team - as he sought to develop a strong dressing-room culture which would benefit England at a major finals. But it had always been his intention to make a permanent appointment before the tournament.

"Harry has some outstanding personal qualities," said Southgate.

"He is a meticulous professional and one of the most important things for a captain is that they set the standard every day. He has belief and high standards and it is a great message for the team to have a captain who has shown that it is possible to be one of the best in the world over a consistent period of time and that has been his drive."

The England manager named his skipper during a meeting with the squad at the St George's Park football centre on Monday, with preparations under way for friendlies against Nigeria and Costa Rica.

The previous youngest England captain at a World Cup was Bobby Moore, who was 25 when he led the side to victory in 1966 on home soil.

"It's an amazing honour," said Kane, who netted 45 goals in 52 outings for Spurs and England in 2017-18. "Obviously you always dream of playing for England, growing up. To be the captain is that little bit more.

"I just can't wait to be there and experience it. To be leading the lads out is going to be special. But for me nothing changes - I'm the same person, the same player, and it's just about the team. We've just got to do what we can and go as far as we can."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline ''Meticulous' Kane to skipper England'. Print Edition | Subscribe