Arsenal star Ben White can consider himself incredibly unlucky to miss out on the England squad again.
Gareth Southgate has announced his squad for upcoming games against Ukraine and Scotland, and whilst Aaron Ramsdale, Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah have all earned call-ups, White has been overlooked again.
White was last in an England squad during the World Cup last December, but was sent home for unexplained reasons. Rumours surfaced of a fallout between the defender and coaching staff, and he has not been picked since.
Earlier this summer, it was reported that Southgate was willing to overlook any previous issues and open the door to his return, but this has clearly not materialised, and White definitely deserves a place in the team.
White’s versatility can be useful
White has played as a right-back and a centre-back and excelled in both positions for Arsenal over the last year.
His link-up play with Bukayo Saka on the right is crucial to Arsenal’s system, and Southgate is missing a trick by not wanting to replicate this with England.
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Given that Manchester United’s Harry Maguire has been called up having not played this season, White’s omission looks even more bizarre from a footballing perspective.
Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen described White as “underrated” last season, and this stands true to this day. He has consistently delivered excellent performances in multiple positions, and is one of Arsenal’s most important players in the back line.
Mikel Arteta may be somewhat happy about his exclusion from the England squad though, as it will give White a rest during the international break. Although he is one of the most robust players in the squad, and has an impeccable injury record, September is a busy period for Arsenal, and Arteta will want him in his best condition as the Champions League group stages begin.