Bukayo Saka lauded the partnership between himself and Ben White on Sunday, just days after the right-back was overlooked by Gareth Southgate for England.
Earlier this week, Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale were called up for Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the March international break, but Ben White was left out.
Southgate insisted that White still has a future with the national team in his press conference after the squad announcement, but the England boss continues to put other right-back options ahead of the Arsenal man in his pecking order.
More than that, Southgate even seemed to suggest that White might be better off playing a different position – back at centre-back.
Yet White put in a fantastic performance for Arsenal at right-back on Sunday, largely dominating his defensive match-up with Wilfried Zaha before going up the other end and providing an assist for Saka.
Speaking after the game, Saka praised the partnership he’s built up with White and Martin Odegaard.
“Ben White was incredible today,” Saka said. “He’s been incredible all season and we’ve been building a great partnership. Me him and Martin [Odegaard] on the right side!”
From an England perspective, it’s frustrating that Southgate isn’t considering giving a chance to the right-hand-side partnership that’s providing so much for the team at the top of the league.
Southgate obviously can’t call Odegaard up, but he’s almost certain to start Saka in the big games, and it’s clear to see that White knows how to play with the young winger.
The two could form a formidable long-term partnership for club and country, but that won’t happen if White isn’t even in the squad.