Wayne Rooney tells Southgate to REST Harry Kane in World Cup clash vs Wales as England legend names one must-start star


ALL-TIME England top scorer Wayne Rooney has told manager Gareth Southgate to REST captain Harry Kane for their World Cup group clash with Wales.

The Three Lions are top of Group B with four points after recording a 6-2 win over Iran and drawing 0-0 with USA on Friday.

Rooney says Kane should be rested against Wales


Rooney says Kane should be rested against WalesCredit: Getty
England legend Rooney would instead play Wilson


England legend Rooney would instead play WilsonCredit: Alamy

Captain Kane picked up a knock on the ankle in the first group game and was ultimately touch-and-go for the USA clash – but was declared fit.

England are yet to book their places in the last-16 of the World Cup and have one more game left against Wales.

However, England and Manchester United legend Rooney says Kane should be rested for the Battle of Britain and replaced by Callum Wilson.

Talking in his Times column, 53 England-goal Rooney said on resting Kane: “The other big change I would make for the Wales match would be to rest Harry Kane.

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“Against the USA, he looked like he may have been suffering the effects of a heavy knock he took in the Iran game.

“It was from a tackle in the second half and in that match I felt that Gareth should have considered taking him off at half-time.

“England were leading 3-0, the game was already won and Harry is our most important player.

“When there are opportunities to protect him and help him stay fit, I believe Gareth should take them — and that is why I would keep Harry on the bench against Wales.”


Kane isn’t the only player Rooney is suggesting should drop to the bench.

Chelsea star Mason Mount is another, as could be Raheem Sterling OR Bukayo Saka.

Rooney would instead like to see another central midfielder start in Kalvin Phillips OR Jordan Henderson.

Phil Foden would play on the left with Saka or Sterling on the right.

Manchester City ace Foden was an unused substitute in the draw with USA – a decision that baffled Rooney.

He said: “I found it very strange that Foden did not come on as a substitute against the USA, and as I wrote in these pages before the tournament, he would be a key part of my starting XI if I were the England boss. Technically, he is the best footballer England have.

“He creates chances, he scores goals, he influences games and he gives you control.

“In possession, he always keeps hold of the ball and normally makes the right choices, and out of possession he can get at players as well. He is fast, competitive and good at pressing the opposition.

“I think if you have a talent like Foden, you simply have to play him. He is now a different player from the one we saw at Euro 2020, when he struggled to make an impact.

“He is more mature and came into this tournament on the back of a long period of brilliant performances for Manchester City. He has the form to go with the ability.

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“If I were him, I would be very frustrated that I didn’t get on the pitch at any stage of Friday’s game.

“My starting XI would have Foden on the left and Bukayo Saka competing with Raheem Sterling for a place on the right.”

Rooney's team for Wales next week
Rooney’s team for Wales next week

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