Mikel Arteta has confirmed Ben White is fit and in training despite his absence from the England squad for the upcoming round of fixtures.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Ben White of Arsenal looks dejected after Marcus Rashford of Manchester United (not pictured) scores their sides third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 04, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: Ben White of Arsenal looks dejected after Marcus Rashford of Manchester United scores his side’s third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 04, 2022. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Ben White was left out of Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad, with Conor Coady, Eric Dier, Marc Guehi, Harry Maguire, John Stones, and Fikayo Tomori called up ahead of him.

The Arsenal centre-back/right-back has been a regular starter in a defence that has generally performed well recently, so there was some suspicion he might have had a fitness setback to lose his place with England.

Yet it appears that’s not the case. Mikel Arteta insisted “he’s fit” when questioned on White’s availability, and the defender could be seen taking part in training as normal.

That’s good news for Arsenal fans, who have been enjoying watching the 24-year-old playing for his club in recent weeks. He should be available for Brentford on Sunday, and he’ll get a good rest over the international break.

But for White himself, it raises the question of why he’s been left out by Southgate.

England's defender Ben White (L) vies with Switzerland's midfielder Steven Zuber (R) during the international friendly football match between England and Switzerland at Wembley stadium in north London on March 26, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
England’s defender Ben White (L) vies with Switzerland’s midfielder Steven Zuber (R) during the international friendly football match between England and Switzerland at Wembley stadium in north London on March 26, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The decision likely revolves around the fact the defender is playing at right-back at the moment, rather than at centre-back. England have plenty of right-backs, it’s one of their strongest positions.

But with England often utilising a back three and White’s “right-back” role often indistinguishable from a right-centre-back in a three, that would be an odd reason to leave him out. Particularly while he’s playing so well.

Previous articleAwful VAR ref in charge of Brentford vs Arsenal
Next articleFormer Arsenal striker to have surgery
Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.