Former Three Lions captain Rooney last played for England in November 2016 but will make his 120th and final appearance for his country against the United States.
Peter Shilton, the only player with more England caps than Rooney, described the move as "completely wrong", while former striker Alan Shearer said the call reduced the game, a warm-up for a Nations League clash with Croatia, to a "testimonial".
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.
All in all, a roaring success.
"I am still able to look to the future with the squad we've picked, " Southgate said.
"If we're also talking about helping young players develop in the worldwide set-up, then surely celebrating Wayne's career in this way is an example to the next generation of England stars".
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The 33-year-old, who now plays for DC United in Major League Soccer, has not represented the Three Lions in nearly two years and the decision has been met with varied responses by players past and present.
Fletcher has said that it became clear quite early that Rooney would go on to become a United great, with the only fear being that the likes of Madrid would attempt to take him from the English giants.
Southgate says the criticism of the Football Association's decision to honour Rooney has been a "disappointment". I think he's earned the right to that cap over a period of over 10 years, six major tournaments and being our record goalscorer. We have an opportunity with the game at Wembley to pay tribute.
England play the U.S. on November 15 before hosting Croatia in the Nations League the following Sunday, with both games live on Sky Sports.
I understand that has caused debate but for me it is a small way of appreciating what he has given to his country. I don't think Wayne has been involved in all those discussions and I don't need to be involved in all those discussions, frankly.
"We are a unusual country in that we bemoan the fact we haven't achieved as much as we'd like and then we have a player who should be held in the highest regard and we are spending a lot of time justifying giving him that tribute".