Ben White’s England future is clear after Arsenal star dropped from Gareth Southgate's squad

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Ben White has been among the best defenders at the Premier League this season but didn't get the call from Gareth Southgate ahead of England's Euro qualifiers.

Ben White is a name that has been on everyone's lips since his inclusion in Arsenal's team. The 25-year-old defender has played a crucial role in the club's recent successes, particularly this season, where he has been deployed as a right-back.

Ben White’s England future is clear after Arsenal star dropped from Gareth Southgate's squad Matthew Ashton - AMA

However, despite his brilliant performances for Arsenal, White has been left out of the England squad for the upcoming international fixtures.

Ben White's fundamental role at Arsenal

According to Goal, White began his football career in the youth ranks of Southampton. However, he was released by the club and joined Brighton & Hove Albion in 2014. After several loan spells, White broke into Brighton's first team in the 2019/20 season and made 36 appearances in all competitions. His impressive performances caught the eye of several Premier League clubs, and in 2021 he signed for Arsenal in a £50 million deal.

Ben White’s England future is clear after Arsenal star dropped from Gareth Southgate's squad Stuart McFarlane

White's progress as a player since he joined Arsenal could be the best indicator of his quality. Initially signed as a center-back from Brighton, he played in that position throughout the last season. However, at the beginning of this season, he shifted to right-back and has gradually transformed from a primarily defensive player to an attacking one who overlaps with his teammates. The Englishman's quality, from his passing skills to his chilly composure in defense, has contributed to Bukayo Saka's goalscoring exploits and helped Arsenal secure their No. 1 position on the Premier League table.

Unexpected omission from the England squad

England travel to Naples to take on Italy in their first Euros qualifying match next week, before Ukraine visit Wembley.

White's omission from the England squad has been a topic of debate in recent times. According to the Telegraph, England's manager Gareth Southgate did not select him for the upcoming international fixtures against Italy and Ukraine, despite his impressive performances for Arsenal.

The England manager has explained that the obvious counter-point to White's omission is that England is not short of quality right-backs. Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, and Reece James are currently ahead of him in the running for England's right-back position. He said:

‘With Ben… it’s similar with Ben and Trent [Alexander-Arnold] really, the three boys who are in as right full-backs we’ve got them just ahead of those two.'
Ben White’s England future is clear after Arsenal star dropped from Gareth Southgate's squad shaun botteril

Southgate continued, explaining why he chose Kyle Walker despite his ongoing battle with injuries this season:

'We’re blessed in that position with the depth of talent. It’s the hardest position to pick, albeit it’s never straightforward criteria and it’s always shifting around a little bit on form as well. But Kyle [Walker] and Tripps [Trippier] were obviously the ones who played during the World Cup, started the games during the World Cup, have been consistent, and Reece coming back is another top player.'

Southgate also compared White's situation to that of Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, who also missed out due to competition from other right-backs. At Liverpool, Arnold is the club's main creative playmaker but has rarely lived up to expectations at international level.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, former goalkeeper Ben Foster suggests there might be something off behind Ben White's omission. The star criticized Southgate's decision:

'Something has gone on there for sure. Every week he is doing it. He’s getting involved in goals. He’s getting involved in assists for fun. He’s playing really, really well, Arsenal are on fire and these are the sort of players that when you are naming your England squad, you should be picking these players in form.'

Ben White's future at England

Despite his absence, Ben White is still likely to represent his country in the future but as a centre-back, his original role. When asked if White had an England future, Gareth Southgate said:

'Yeah, absolutely. We like him. We’re interested to see whether at some point he ends up back at centre-back as well, because he’s got some really good attributes within that.'
Ben White’s England future is clear after Arsenal star dropped from Gareth Southgate's squad Stuart McFarlane

White was included in England's 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but did not feature for the Three Lions before leaving the tournament prematurely for personal reasons. The defender has spoken openly about the struggles he faced during the tournament, which led to him leaving early.

It was disclosed afterwards that White was rumored to have had a disagreement with Steve Holland, the assistant coach for England, and there were also reports that the Arsenal defender was dissatisfied in the camp and found it difficult to socialize with his teammates.

Read more:

England at World Cup 2022: Five players dropped from Gareth Southgate's squad

Arsenal defender Ben White becomes first star to leave England World Cup squad

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