By 90Min
June 05, 2019

Purple PR, the official public relations agency for Raheem Sterling, has released a statement claiming he is set to captain England for the Nations League semi-final match against the Netherlands on Thursday. 

The statement, if accurate, would seem to indicate that regular skippers Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson will be omitted from the starting XI, whilst Sterling will wear the armband as he earns his 50th cap for the Three Lions.

However, the Daily Mail claim that the Football Association were 'surprised' by the statement, with 'insiders' insisting that manager Gareth Southgate is yet to make a decision on who will captain his side.

If Sterling does wear the armband, it continues a remarkable year for the winger both on and off the pitch, as he has been rightly applauded for his work in raising and combating racism in football and the media. Additionally, Sterling was integral to Manchester City's treble-winning campaign, as the Sky Blues claimed the FA Cup, League Cup, and defended their Premier League crown.

Sterling has also become a vital player for Southgate's England, scoring two goals as the Three Lions progressed to the semi-final stage. And, speaking to the Mail, the 24-year-old has emphasised the importance of winning trophies with his country.

"To lift a trophy with England, I would love that. We've all got to look at that and do our best to try to win. It's as simple as that," he said in the build-up to the match.

"We need to leave that mentality behind - the whole 'see how it goes' thing. Nowadays, with our mentality, the talent we have on our team, we have to go to look to win things.

David Ramos/GettyImages

"That's the mentality and if you have that mentality from before - the 'let's see how it goes' - if you're not 100 per cent sure, there's no point."

Kane and Henderson typically wear the armband for England, but given the pair's Champions League exploits, as well as Kane's apparent lack of match fitness, it seems that Sterling will be given the opportunity to lead England against the Dutch.

England face the Netherlands in the Nations League semi-finals on Thursday at 19.45 BST at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques in Portugal.

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