The dismal Euro campaign by England's U21s left Stuart Pearce rightfully out of a job, but it also saw the side left without longtime captain Jordan Henderson. Had England progressed past group play Henderson would have likely celebrated his 23rd birthday in Israel, but three straight losses meant the midfielder's days in the U21 were up. A bench role in the loss to Israel to close out England's participation meant that Andre Wisdom stepped in as captain, and today new manager Gareth Southgate announced that Wisdom would be the permanent replacement for Henderson as the U21s get their new European Championship qualification underway.
It's a continuation of a remarkable feat for Liverpool's English contingent; Henderson and Steven Gerrard simultaneously served as captains in their respective sides, and at various times over the past few seasons there's been a Liverpool-based captain at nearly every level. England's failures at pretty much every competition in which they've participated over that same time frame might dim the achievement a little, but it's still a wonderful honor for the players selected.
As for Wisdom specifically, it's not entirely surprising given his cameo earlier this summer, and he's got all the makings of a commanding central defenders, both in performance and in voice. His days deputizing at right-back appear to be over for both club and country; he was mostly excellent in the loss to Israel and excelled on the left side of central defense in the preseason, and his appearances at right-back in the early days of the season under Brendan Rodgers are a product of injuries in the squad rather than a longer-term return to the position that saw him break into Liverpool's first team last season.
The U21s have the same opponent as the senior squad this week, with Moldova set to visit Southgate's side at the Madejski Stadium on Thursday. Wisdom will surely feature for the first time as permanent captain, and he'll likely be joined by Jack Robinson, currently on at Blackpool.