Declan Rice is promoted into Gareth Southgate’s England leadership group joining Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker after becoming a key part of the Three Lions set up ahead of next summer’s Euros


Declan Rice has been elevated to the England leadership group, a move that underlines his growing seniority under head coach Gareth Southgate.

One of the key aspects of Southgate’s reign has been the formation of a leadership committee: a chosen group of players who effectively take on the responsibilities of a captain during international spells.

The group remains an important facet of Southgate’s tenure, although the mix of players included in the group from camp to camp has been kept informal at recent meetings.

Eric Dier, Conor Coady and Raheem Sterling – who are not part of the current squad – have all been part of the leadership group at some point over the last seven years.

However, Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker and Jordan Henderson are seen as regulars in the select group of players Southgate has selected to lead the team – and now Rice has been added to that unofficial squad ahead of Euro 2024.

Declan Rice’s improved status in the England team has seen him promoted to the leadership group

The leadership group – led by captain Harry Kane – has become an important facet of Southgate’s tenure

Kyle Walker (left) and Harry Maguire (right) are both prominent figures in the England organisation

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The midfielder has become a key player on the pitch under Southgate and is now an automatic choice for England, with his duties expanding off the pitch as well.

It is believed that Jude Bellingham’s presence among England’s senior players has also increased over the calendar year. The Real Madrid star is only 20, but his status within the squad is growing quickly.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are preparing to open talks with Takehiro Tomiyasu over a new contract, just months after considering selling the Japan international.

Tomiyasu still has 18 months left on his contract with the Emirates, but there is an option to extend that for a further 12 months.

However, the Gunners captains are looking to extend his contract following the versatile defender’s excellent start to the season.

The prospect of Tomiyasu signing a contract extension marks a sharp turnaround in the club’s outlook on the player’s future.

Mail Sport can reveal that Tomiyasu, who is attracting interest from Bayern Munich, was on a list of players Arsenal were prepared to listen to offers for during the final weeks of the summer window following their almost £200million spend on Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and David Raya.

There was strong interest in Tomiyasu from the Premier League and rival European clubs.

Mail Sport can reveal Takehiro Tomiyasu was put up for sale at the end of the transfer window – with significant interest from the Premier League and abroad

William Saliba is one of several Arsenal players to have recently completed new deals

Jurrien Timber’s ACL injury on the first day of the season meant Tomiyasu was needed at the club

However, the ACL injury suffered by Timber in the opening day win over Nottingham Forest meant that Tomiyasu was immediately removed from the list.

Since then, Tomiyau has become a key player under Mikel Arteta, sharing the responsibility of playing at left-back with Oleksandr Zinchenko, while also filling other roles in the back four.

The Gunners have embarked on contract extensions with some of their key players this year; Martin Odegaard, William Saliba, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are among the players to have signed new deals in the past 12 months.

Ben White is also in advanced talks over an extension, with Tomiyasu next in line to open talks on new terms.


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