​England manager Gareth Southgate has claimed that he would have no hesitation in naming ​Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling as the captain if current skipper Harry Kane is not available for the next game.

Tottenham Hotspur forward Kane is currently out with an injury and is unlikely to be fit for England's UEFA Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands on June 7, after the club season ends.

Southgate said that he would not have any problem with giving the armband to Sterling in Kane's absence, saying the player is in the leadership group now.

“Raheem is in that leadership group now and he has fulfilled that brilliantly over the last 12 months in particular,” Southgate said, according to ​Goal“You can see his maturity now with what has happened to him on and off the pitch. I think he is realising that. He has risen to that challenge and embraced it and I wouldn’t have any hesitation in making him captain if that was the right thing.”

Sterling has been in great form this season, both for club and country. He has scored 26 goals in all competitions for City while also scoring six goals for England since the semi-final of the World Cup. 

With Kane likely to be unavailable for the Nations League game, it remains to be seen if Sterling will be given the armband. It would be a fantastic way to end the season, considering he has won numerous other individual awards as well, including the Football Writer’s Association Player of the Year.