Gareth Southgate will ­announce his first England squad in a week’s time.

Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane on the bench

Gareth Southgate may take the captaincy away from Wayne Rooney with Harry Kane an obvious candidate(Photo: REUTERS)\

And, with it, his first captain.

The wise money would go on Wayne Rooney keeping his place in Southgate’s squad – and the captain’s armband.

But, while it is undeniable Manchester United and England’s top goalscorer has little left to prove, the smart move would surely be for England’s newly-installed head coach to look elsewhere.

The writing is on the wall. In white and red letters 10ft high.

Rooney is the past. And Southgate must look to the future.

Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney of England warm up.

Rooney's struggles for form and game time could push Southgate to make Kane his skipper (Photo: Getty)

Southgate and Rooney during England training (Photo: The FA via Getty)

By whatever yardstick you use, the striker’s days look numbered.

Plenty has changed since Southgate was appointed to the job in November.

But one thing which hasn’t is the Liverpool-born striker’s decline.

In 26 games that his club has played since then, Rooney has featured in 15, and he has only scored twice.

In just three matches – against West Ham United in the League Cup along with Reading and Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup – has Rooney played the full 90 minutes. Mourinho has not trusted the 31-year-old to complete one Premier League game.

And this season he has collected more yellow cards – seven – than he has goals – five.

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