Redknapp: Rooney as important as Gerrard for England

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp believes Wayne Rooney will be as important to England as captain Steven Gerrard at the World Cup, Sky Sports has reported.

Rooney has come in for criticism over his recent performances but the former Tottenham Hotspur boss believes the Manchester United forward has to start for Roy Hodgson’s side this summer.

“For me Rooney is an absolute certainty (to start for England),” Redknapp said. “As certain as Gerrard and one or two others in the team like (Joe) Hart, but Rooney would be on my team sheet for sure.

“I’m a big Rooney fan. I think he is a fantastic player,” he continued. “Even last year when we went to Brazil and played in a friendly game I felt we were the better team and in the end we could have won that game quite easily and Rooney was outstanding.

“For me personally, Wayne is a certainty to play and I certainly wouldn’t expect to see an England team without Rooney. But it’s Roy’s decision and I’m sure he will make the decision which he feels is right.”

Rooney has made 90 appearances and 38 goals for the Three Lions since his debut in 2003. He was the youngest player to turn out for the senior team at the time of his inaugural appearance against Australia at West Ham’s Upton Park.

Last season Rooney netted 19 times for United in 40 games and in 2013 scored six goals in 10 international games.

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