Aaron Ramsey has been named Wales captain following Gareth Bale’s retirement

Aaron Ramsey has been named Wales captain following Gareth Bale’s retirement.

The 32-year-old midfielder, who has 78 caps, will lead his country for the first time in forthcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Croatia and Latvia later this month.

Ramsey will lead a youthful-looking 24-man squad on Tuesday, named by boss Rob Page.

Page said: “Aaron was the vice-captain behind Gareth and I see that as a natural progression.

“He has a great opportunity to work with the young players. He’s at the right time in his career to lead the boys out and he’s enjoying it.

“I spoke to Aaron. He really appreciates that and is looking forward to the role.”

Bale ended his remarkable career in January after winning a record 111 caps for the Wales men’s national team.

Ramsey has done the job before, having been appointed captain of Wales by the late Gary Speed ​​in March 2011 at the age of 20.

Speed’s successor, Chris Coleman, handed the armband over to Ashley Williams in October 2012, allowing Ramsey to focus on his football.

Alongside the departure of record goalscorer Bale, Chris Gunter, Joe Allen and Jonny Williams have also all retired from the international scene since Wales’ disappointing World Cup campaign before Christmas, where they scored just one goal and finished bottom of their group.

Page has called up four non-caps to his squad for the trip to World Cup semi-finalists Croatia on March 25 and the home game against Latvia three days later.

Midfielders Jordan James and Ollie Cooper, who were present in Qatar but are not part of the official World Cup squad, are both included.

Fulham youngster Luke Harris and Ipswich striker Nathan Broadhead are also included.

Tom Bradshaw returns after being named EFL Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for his fine form for Millwall in February.

The last of Bradshaw’s three appearances in Wales came at the China Cup in March 2018 but the 30-year-old has won a recall after scoring six goals in as many games.

David Brooks is absent after making his debut in the Bournemouth squad for the first time in 529 days after being diagnosed with cancer on Saturday.

Brooks, an unused substitute in the Cherries’ 1-0 win over Liverpool, was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma on duty for Wales in October 2021 but announced he was cancer-free last May.

Wales are sweating over Brennan Johnson’s fitness after the in-form Nottingham Forest striker sustained an injury at Tottenham on Saturday.

In-form Nottingham Forest forward Brennan Johnson is a fitness doubt (Tim Goode/PA)

Johnson, who has scored seven goals since the World Cup, is due to suffer a groin strain this week.

Dundee United midfielder Dylan Levitt and Leeds striker Tyler Roberts, who is on loan at QPR, are both unavailable through injury.

Cardiff pair Rubin Colwill and Mark Harris and MK Dons midfielder Matthew Smith are also absent after being included in the World Cup squad.

Wales squad: D Ward (Leicester), W Hennessey (Nottingham Forest), A Davies (Sheff Utd), C Roberts (Burnley), C Mepham (Bournemouth), J Rodon (Rennes, on loan from Tottenham), B Davies (Tottenham ), T Lockyer (Luton), B Cabango (Swansea), N Williams (Nottingham Forest), W Burns (Ipswich), E Ampadu (Spezia, on loan from Chelsea), J Morrell (Portsmouth), J .James (Birmingham), O Cooper (Swansea), L Harris (Fulham), S Thomas (Blackburn, on loan from Huddersfield), A Ramsey (Nice), H Wilson (Fulham), B Johnson (Nottingham Forest), D James ( Fulham, on loan from Leeds), K Moore (Bournemouth), T Bradshaw (Millwall), N Broadhead (Ipswich).

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