Gareth Southgate says England’s abundance of talent in defence is the reason why Ben White was dropped from the Three Lions squad.
White hasn’t been included in Southgate’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine, with the likes of Reece James, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker named ahead of him.
The 25-year-old left the World Cup mid-tournament in Qatar due to personal reasons which remain undisclosed.
He has since gone on to become a mainstay of the Arsenal defence this season, with the Gunners currently top of the Premier League and White netting his first goal in a recent 3-2 win over Bournemouth.
“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,” Southgate said.
“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.
“We’ve love to have that depth in every position on the field.”
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was asked ahead of the Europa League match against Sporting whether he feels there would be any unresolved issues from White’s departure at the World Cup.
“As far as I am concerned, no. He has been in very good form, available for every single match and has been performing well for us.
“He is available for us so for sure he will be available for the England squad.”
Southgate included Ivan Toney in the squad despite the Brentford striker facing a potential ban after breaking FA betting rules.
The full squad can be found below:
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham)
Forwards: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford).