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