England: Southgate gives verdict on snubbing White after not ‘speaking’ to the Arsenal star

Lewis Oldham
England White
Gareth Southgate and Ben White with England's badge.

Gareth Southgate has revealed why Arsenal right-back Ben White has not been included in the England squad for this summer’s European Championships.

White has not played for England since he was sent home early from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Arsenal standout has emerged as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and is certainly deserving of a place in the England squad.

But this was always unlikely after the 26-year-old opted against being involved for England during the international break in March.

“The door is open for us…”

At the time, Southgate insisted that the “door is open” for White to eventually make his return at international level.

“As I’ve said to you, the door is open for us,” Southgate said.

“That’s clearly difficult ahead of the Euros, where you’ve got players that have played all the way through, but we have no idea of knowing who’s going to be available in that area of the pitch.

“I respected the situation as Arsenal have contacted us. So, in the end, I know the conversation I had with him last March.

“I felt I should back away from it a little bit. But I’ve always left the door open. I was keen to bring in this camp [for Brazil and Belgium friendlies].”

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Around the same time as when White snubbed England in March, a report revealed the ‘real truth’ on the breakdown of relations between the defender and Southgate (but his assistant Steve Holland more so).

‘Multiple sources have expressed contrasting reflections, amid claims the root of the issue is a verbal confrontation during a squad meeting at the team’s Al Wakrah base in Qatar during which White could not provide the answer to a question from Holland with regards to Arsenal’s season.

‘Verbals ensued, inflamed by the fact Kyle Walker was asked the same question with regards to Manchester City and answered immediately.

‘According to sources, the fact the incident transpired in front of the squad resulted in White feeling disrespected and on November 30 he flew home.’

📣TO THE COMMENTS! Should Ben White have snubbed England? Join the debate here

Despite Southgate insisting the “door is open” for White to make a comeback, the Arsenal star was not included in England’s 33-man provisional squad for this summer’s European Championships.

When asked why White was left out, Southgate said: “I didn’t speak to Ben White. As far as I am aware, he isn’t available to us.”

Southgate is also insistent that England are capable of winning Euro 2024 this summer.

“Of course, everyone is waiting for that headline, I’m not going to be an idiot and say no,” Southgate said.

“This team have been close already, they know it is is possible. You can see in cup football, you have to navigate game by game, get through the group and then in knockout football, you see Manchester City only got to where they got to because it is fine margins. You get judged on those moments.”

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