Arsenal star Ben White asks not to be in England squad as Gareth Southgate denies fallout | Football | Sport

manager has revealed that asked not to be selected for the Three Lions squad that was announced on Thursday. defender White has not played international football since leaving the England camp midway through the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

White has been a regular for the Gunners at right-back this season as they hunt down a Premier League title under Mikel Arteta. The 26-year-old was therefore considered likely to be named in the squad to face Brazil and Belgium later this month.

However, Southgate explained in a press conference immediately following his squad announcement that White had made himself unavailable for selection. “Clearly on form I can’t sit here and say he doesn’t deserve to be in,” said the 53-year-old.

“We had a call from [Arsenal sporting director] Edu last week [and he] said Ben didn’t want to be considered for England squads at this time. For me that is a great shame. He is a player we took to the Euros, a player we took to the World Cup and I spoke to him post-Qatar because I wanted to pick him.”

White has been absent from the international stage since ditching the England squad in the midst of the 2022 World Cup due to ‘personal reasons’. Rumours at the time suggested a rift with assistant coach Steve Holland was the cause, but Southgate denies a fallout of any kind.

“He is not available to us and there is no issue between us at all and I also should say there is never any issue with Steve Holland because that has been mentioned in articles and I don’t like that,” he continued.

The Three Lions are gearing up for their final two matches before a pair of pre-Euro 2024 warm-up ties, with Belgium and Brazil poised to provide high-quality opposition.

Jarrad Branthwaite and Anthony Gordon have been named in the squad for the first time, while Aston Villa star Ezri Konsa is also in contention to win his first cap. Cole Palmer, Jarrod Bowen and Ivan Toney made the cut too, but there was no room for Kalvin Phillips.

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