Rooney skippered his country in a competitive game for the first time in Friday's 5-0 win over San Marino, but with Steven Gerrard returning for Tuesday's encounter with Poland, will be back among the foot soldiers in Warsaw.
Manager Roy Hodgson does view the Manchester United man as a leader in waiting.
And Cleverley endorses that view, feeling his Red Devils team-mate has all the right attributes, even the ability to deliver Roy Keane-style rebukes.
"When you want to win badly you'll do anything to achieve it," said Cleverley.
"If people need telling, even in training, Wazza's not afraid to do it, or if I'm on his team and we're not winning he'll let me know."