Jack Wilshere: United star has become 'the dad figure' in England squad

Wayne Rooney

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere has been talking about Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney.

Jack Wilshere has revealed Wayne Rooney has become "the dad figure" in England's squad since being appointed captain following the retirement of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

The Arsenal midfielder has outlined the influence Manchester United forward has had since becoming the senior member of Roy Hodgson's squad.

“He’s a natural leader. You can see that. Even when Steven Gerrard was captain, Rooney was a big voice in the dressing room," said the 22-year-old. "He gets everyone going, he encourages and he’s not scared to tell you when you’re doing something wrong."

“He’s the only one now who has been playing for England for 10 years, with the likes of Gerrard. He’s been through that generation. Now it really feels like he’s the dad figure, if you like. He puts his arm around us, brings us together and gets us going."

“Ever since I came into the squad he was like that. He’s just a natural leader. He loves the game. He’s first out to training. You can tell his hunger has never changed. It’s refreshing to see.”

Rooney will win his 99th cap against Estonia in Tallinn on Sunday as England prepare for a third successive Euro 2016 qualifying win, and he now stands just seven goals short of Sir Bobby Charlton's national record tally of 49. 

While the former Everton forward has been criticised for both his performances in recent months, there can be no questioning his loyalty to the Three Lions shirt. He is clearly having a desirable impact in his role as captain, and Roy Hodgson will be eager for this to continue. 

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