Gareth Southgate says Ben White has a future for England and could play in central defense for his country one day.
The Arsenal defender returned to his country from the Qatar World Cup after suffering psychologically during the camp, and England continued the tournament without him.
White was not named in England’s latest Southgate squad ahead of Thursday’s Euro 2024 qualifiers with Italy and Ukraine, despite a stellar season playing mostly at right-back for league leaders Arsenal.
But the England boss said the decision to drop White was down to the deep strength he had at his disposal in the position, with Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Rhys James all selected.
“Yes, absolutely,” Southgate said when asked if White had a future for England. We love him. We’re interested to see if he ends up at some point in centre-back as well, because he’s got some really good traits in that.
“We think Walker and Trippier have been consistent for us and are playing well for their clubs. Trippier has been one of the key players in the league and played a big part in Newcastle’s season. Reece James is a top-level player as well. So it’s a position we’re enjoying and Ben.” [White] He also has a very good claim, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka is soon back in the Manchester United squad, so we have a lot of depth in that particular position.
“So at the moment, like I said, other players are playing well at big clubs who are still in the Champions League as well or high in the league, so it’s a tough call.”
England travel to Naples to face Italy in their first European qualifier next week, before visiting Ukraine’s Wembley.
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