Harry Kane to captain England against Slovenia

4 October 2017, 12:00

Harry Kane will captain England against Slovenia, but Gareth Southgate is yet to choose a permanent skipper.

Southgate confirmed Kane will lead the side out on Thursday night but he stopped short of naming the Tottenham striker as his permanent captain.

The manager has been reluctant to appoint a permanent captain since succeeding Sam Allardyce last year and has elected to name his skipper on a game-by-game basis.

Jordan Henderson led the national side to wins over Slovakia and Malta earlier this year, while Kane took charge of the role against France and Scotland.

Southgate is yet to decide if he will appoint a permanent captain ahead of the World Cup in Russia next summer, but he believes Kane is the right man to lead England against Slovenia at Wembley.

"He is captain for tomorrow, which he knew a month ago," said Southgate. "His leadership qualities are invaluable to us as a team and he is in a good moment in terms of his form.

"I enjoy working with him and I have known him for a long time and he is improving and maturing all the time."

When asked who would take on the captaincy for the long term, Southgate replied: "I haven't decided yet.

"The important thing for me was when we looked at the group of players at the start, we saw potential leaders but lads who hadn't had experience of leading and how do we allow for that to happen, and how do we give them a feel of it, and I think that's worked well over the last few months.

"All of those experiences will stand them in good stead. Different situations, different opportunities to be in front of people, sharing a responsibility of team. I think that's key."

Kane has enjoyed a remarkable start to the season with Tottenham after netting 11 goals in all competitions for his club side.

The 24-year-old is proud to have been handed the captain's armband but also expects others to experience the role before the start of the World Cup.

"It makes me very proud, growing up as a kid you dream of playing of your country and being captain as well," said Kane.

"There are plenty of leaders in this team and other guys are going to have a go to see how it feels."

Former England boss Roy Hodgson recently raised his concerns that the England captaincy could hinder Kane. However, the Tottenham forward insists nothing will change when he leads the team out at Wembley.

"I don't think having an armband on your arm makes a difference to how you play," said Kane.

"I will go out there to try and win and score goals. There are plenty of players on the pitch who will help each other out when the going gets tough as well."

England can secure their place in Russia if they avoid defeat against Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday night. Southgate's squad then travel to face Lithuania in their final match of qualifying on October 8.

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