Talks about Rooney, 33, coming out of global retirement to receive his 120th cap have been ongoing for a year, Southgate confirmed, but the striker did not want his appearance to distract players ahead of the World Cup.
Shilton - England's all-time record appearance maker - is furious with the decision to recall Rooney, accusing the FA of "giving away caps".
"I am still able to look to the future in terms of the squad we have picked", insisted Southgate.
He is not in contention for the Nations League clash with Croatia three days later. "This game is the first opportunity we've had at Wembley to do that".
Rooney is the Three Lions' all-time leading goalscorer and a man assured of his place in English football folklore, but he has been in worldwide retirement for over 12 months.
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As soon as the announcement of Rooney's return to the squad was announced a number of fans were curious whether he will get to wear the captain's armband. "It's a real good thing for everyone to be a part of", he added. "I think all the players respect Wayne's contribution and that he deserves the best possible send-off".
Injuries and the fitness of other players may determine whether or not Southgate hands a shock call up to 18-year-old Nelson, who has been impressing in the Bundesliga. We can't do anything about how we've done it in the past, but I know how much it meant to the squad of '66 to come to St George's Park a few months ago and have a dinner when we mentioned the entrance after Sir Alf Ramsey.
"So I guess that will depend on the circumstances around the game and the players that are on there but I have no issue with that at all". "And we'll see in a few years how close I am".
Southgate has also considered a first call-up for the Arsenal teenager...
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard have been included in the squad after missing the most recent internationals.
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