Gareth Southgate has reached out to Ben White over a future return to the England squad, trying to establish if he’s open to a recall.
The Daily Mail report that Gareth Southgate has made an approach to Ben White over a potential recall to the England squad, following the right-back’s World Cup withdrawal and subsequent absence from the squad in March.
Sami Mokbel claims Southgate has sounded out White over a future England return, seeking to figure out whether the defender would be open to a recall.
As of yet, there’s no word over whether White will be involved in the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers.
But ahead of the squad’s announcement on Wednesday, Southgate is seemingly trying to keep that door open.
After being named in the England squad travelling to Qatar for the World Cup, White pulled out of the tournament early, with the reasons for that decision never clarified.
Southgate then didn’t select White for his squad in March, though he publicly insisted the Arsenal man still had a future with his country.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Southgate said then. “We like him. We’re interested to see whether at some point he ends up back at centre-back as well, because he’s got some really good attributes within that.”
But with some injuries and position changes for White’s England rivals at right-back, there may be an opening for him to return to the squad in that role next month.
Back with Arsenal, recent reports suggest that after new deals for Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli, Aaron Ramsdale, and Bukayo Saka this season, Ben White could also be among those to be offered improved terms.
Arsenal are looking to reward the core of the side that mounted this season’s title challenge. White joins William Saliba and Martin Odegaard on that list.
White only joined Arsenal in 2021, signing a five-year deal at the time, so there’s not a huge amount of pressure on his contract situation.
But while things are going well and other players are committing their futures, it seems like the right time to renegotiate.
The right-back should be keen enough to sign new terms, as Arsenal prepare for a return to the Champions League. And with Champions League finances, the Gunners should be able to offer him a nice wage increase.