It was announced on Thursday that Rooney would be banned for all three of England's group games at next year's tournament.
With the striker's spot up for grabs, McLeish has said that Bent is more than capable of leading the attack for his country.
"Can Bent replace Rooney for England? Yes. I think so. He is a great finisher but he has a lot of other aspects to his game as well," McLeish told reporters.
"I've been impressed by Benty's overall play. I used to think that he was just a last third of the pitch sort of player but there is a lot more to his game.
"Darren is a much better all-round player than he is given credit for and is making his mark with England now. But I wouldn't know what Fabio Capello thinks about his overall game."
Bent has scored four goals in 11 appearances for England since he made his debut in 2006.