Gareth Southgate admits England’s defensive injury problems mean door is open to Ben White return ahead of Euro 2024

England manager Gareth Southgate has insisted the door is still open for Arsenal defender Ben White to return to the squad before Euro 2024.

White asked to be left out of the latest England squad to face Brazil and Belgium as he has informed the Three Lions he does not want to be called up for the time being. His absence has added to Southgate’s problems in defence with Kieran Trippier, Reece James, Luke Shaw, Marc Guehi and Trent Alexander-Arnold all injured.

Kyle Walker and John Stones also picked up injuries during the most recent international break. Yet Southgate has not ruled out taking White to Euro 2024 and has made it clear the door remains open if the Arsenal star wishes to return.

Ben White Arsenal 2023-24

He told reporters: “It’s really for Ben now. As I’ve said, the door is open for us. That’s clearly difficult ahead of the Euros, when [he’s] missed all of the qualifying campaign and 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. We’ve lost four to injury this camp. So, as I said, for me, it’s open. I have absolutely no issue.”

The Arsenal defender has reportedly opted to snub England duty due to difficulties adapting to a fringe role within the squad, and also because of a previous confrontation with assistant manager Steve Holland.

White flew back early from World Cup 2022 because of “personal reasons” and has not featured for the national team since. Arsenal team-mate Declan Rice has said he will try to convince White to change his mind, but it remains unclear if White will play international football again, at least during Southgate’s tenure.


England’s friendlies against Brazil and Belgium were Southgate‘s last chance to see his team in action before he names his preliminary squad for Euro 2024 on May 21 – two days after the Premier League season finishes.

The Three Lions then play two friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland before Southgate must name his final squad by June 8.


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