Wayne Rooney: Roy Hodgson insists Manchester United striker will be England's key man at Euro 2016

The national team's thrilling 3-2 win over Germany has invited questions over the captain's role

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson has insisted Wayne Rooney’s position in his England plans is unaffected by the 3-2 victory against Germany in Berlin, despite the impressive performances of Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Danny Welbeck.

Rooney, the Manchester United and England captain, missed Saturday’s victory against the world champions with a knee ligament injury that has sidelined him since mid-February.

And in his absence, the combination of Kane and Welbeck against the Germans, followed by Vardy’s late goalscoring impact as a substitute, has placed the spotlight on Rooney’s ability to regain his starting place ahead of Euro 2016.

But with Rooney breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time international goalscoring record in a campaign that has otherwise failed to reach previous heights, Hodgson insists that the 30-year-old remains a key figure in the team.

“Wayne, I repeat, is our captain,” Hodgson said. “He has captained the team extremely well these past two years, taken us through a qualification campaign, where we had complete success, 10 wins out of 10, so it doesn’t please me too much when it is suggested the moment he gets injured and doesn’t play he deserves to be jettisoned in some way.

“He certainly doesn’t deserve that, and when he comes back and is fit again he is going to be putting enormous pressure on these players.

“Just as these players have been putting enormous pressure on him, and that’s the situation we are looking forward too.

“I have to be honest with you, I’ve not given thought to that (Rooney’s position.

“I was too busy really enjoying the fact that Welbeck came back and did well, Vardy came on and did well, Kane was excellent throughout the game. I will enjoy that for the minute.”

Tottenham forward Kane, who sparked England’s fight back from 2-0 down by scoring the first goal for Hodgson’s team, now appears to have emerged as first-choice up front following his impressive campaign for club and country.

But the 22-year-old admits there is now intensifying competition for places in England’s forward line.

“The manager wants everyone on top form and applying themselves well,” Kane said. “You want the best players to be on form come the Euros.

“All we can do is keep doing what we are doing, to keep playing as we have great belief.

“Wayne and Raheem Sterling are great players and I am sure they will be back in the squad, but everyone is fighting for places and it is what this country needs. It will only make us better players.”