Liverpool man to captain England against Netherlands despite quit threat

The FA have announced that James Milner will wear the armband despite claiming on Sunday that he could retire from international football.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner will captain England for the first time against the Netherlands on Tuesday evening at Wembley Stadium just 48 hours after he claimed he could quit international duty if he is not guaranteed a regular role after Euro 2016.

Milner has been a key figure in the Three Lions picture since he was an academy prospect at Liverpool, playing at various youth levels and making a record 46 appearances for the Under-21s side.

Since making his debut for his country's senior side in 2009 at the age of 23, the 30-year-old has gone on to win over 50 caps and play in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups as well as Euro 2012.

However, after being left as an unused substitute in the win over Germany as younger midfield options such as Dele Alli and Eric Dier shone for Roy Hodgson's side, Milner threatened to retire from international duty rather than become just a bit-part player.

Despite - or perhaps as a result of - that claim on Sunday, less than 24 hours later it was confirmed that the former Manchester City and Aston Villa man would start and captain Hodgson's XI against the Netherlands at Wembley on Tuesday.

Hodgson is exploring as many of his options as possible in the final friendly matches before he names his preliminary squad to take to France for Euro 2016 this summer.

Inexperienced international players such as Alli, Dier, Harry Kane, and Jamie Vardy all impressed in the win over Germany, leading to speculation that senior stars such as Wayne Rooney may find their place in the starting XI jeopardised.

Milner could be another more experienced man to find his place under threat, and he will want to impress with the armband on Tuesday to ensure that he is still at the forefront of Hodgson's plans.

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