Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
England manager Gareth Southgate has explained his decision to omit Arsenal defender Ben White from his latest squad. The Three Lions boss named his 25-man roster on Thursday morning for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.
White was a notable absence from the defensive ranks selected by Southgate, alongside Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. England have a plethora of high-performing right-backs at their disposal, with Chelsea’s Reece James, Manchester City’s Kyle Walker and Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier the trio chosen to represent their national side this month.
Southgate explained this is the hardest position for him to pick, but did give an example why the Blues right-back was selected ahead of the Gunners’ offering. “With Ben and Trent, we have three boys in at right full-backs and we have got them just ahead of those two,” he explained.
READ MORE: Chelsea Enzo Fernandez trick can beat Man Utd to Jude Bellingham transfer ‘in next few weeks’
“We’re blessed in that position with depth of talent. It is the hardest position to pick, albeit it’s never straightforward criteria, and it’s always shifting around a little bit on form as well.
“Kyle and Tripps started games at the World Cup and Reece coming back is another top player so, yes, we would love to have that depth in every position on the field really.”
White was among the England stars to travel to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, which was the last time the national side met up for international duty. However, he departed his teammates ahead of their last-16 clash with Senegal, with the FA citing “personal reasons” as to his departure.
It was later revealed that White reportedly had a bust-up with England assistant coach Steve Holland, while reports also suggested the Gunners full-back became unhappy in the camp and struggled to mix with his fellow teammates. When asked about these claims at the time, Southgate said: “We explained why Ben left the camp and I think it’s important that that is respected, really.”
Meanwhile, James returns to the squad for the first time since missing the World Cup through injury. The 23-year-old’s absence came as a huge blow to him personally, and will be delighted his hard work to get back onto the Stamford Bridge turf has been rewarded with a reinstatement to the squad.
One of James’ Chelsea teammates wasn’t so fortunate in this regard. Southgate confirmed Raheem Sterling is missing from the squad due to injury, explaining: “Raheem is not fit, so that’s that one.”
Champions League draw simulated: Chelsea get dream tie as Romelu Lukaku faces tough challenge
Fabio Vieira reveals Arsenal have already signed ‘next Bernardo Silva’ as Man City sent message
Graham Potter can finally unleash Chelsea’s own Kylian Mbappe vs Everton after seven month agony
Arsenal news and transfers LIVE: All the latest news, rumours and gossip from the Emirates Stadium
Chelsea news and transfers LIVE: All the latest news, rumours and gossip from Stamford Bridge