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Rooney's return has caused no little controversy but Southgate justified the decision to recognise England's most capped outfield player of all time.

Gareth Southgate has defended the decision to include Wayne Rooney in the England squad to face U.S. next Thursday and said the record goalscorer deserves his tribute despite criticism his presence devalues an worldwide cap.

However, Southgate is happy Rooney is getting an global farewell despite criticism of the idea. Sources close to Rooney have claimed that... "It's a real good thing for everyone to be a part of", he added.

Gareth Southgate insists Wayne Rooney's England swansong will not have a negative impact on the next generation - either on or off the pitch. "I think it should be appropriate that people are not heading for the Tube before he comes on and also we have got out of the game what we wanted and not taking someone off too early", Southgate said.

Then, to seemingly appease some sections of English fans, the FA have also stated that Rooney, who previously turned down Southgate's opportunity of a recall, will not start nor be wear the captain's armband.

During today's squad announcement, Gareth Southgate said that England should show more appreciation for their past stars.

Rooney, who now plays in the United States for DC United, has scored 53 goals in 119 worldwide appearances and last played for England against Scotland in November 2016.

"I think the team respect what he did and I think it is important they respect what the players did in the past", Southgate said.

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Rooney is also named in the squad but will only feature in the game against the States as it was revealed last week that the match will be named "The Wayne Rooney Foundation International" in honour of the former Manchester United strikers' charity.

"We've got to get the part of the game we need".

"So I guess that will depend on the circumstances around the game and the players that are on there but I have no issue with that at all".

Wilson has bagged six times in the Premier League already this season and is only one goal behind front-runners Hazard, Sergio Aguero and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Dunk's first worldwide involvement came as a result of an injury suffered by Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski.

Croatia beat the Three Lions in the World Cup semi-final in July before the sides drew 0-0 in Zagreb last month.

Midfielders Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard return after being ruled out of last month's Nations League double-header against Spain and Croatia through injury - with youngsters Mason Mount and James Maddison dropping out.


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