Arsenal Star Snubs England Call-up, Southgate Calls It “Great Shame”

Arsenal defender, Ben White has snubbed a call-up from England ahead of their March international friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.

Ben White who has been in superb form at Arsenal so far this season recently signed a contract extension with the Gunners.

Due to his form, the Three Lions of England coach attempted to invite the defender to the March friendly games but the right-back turned down the invite.

Reports claimed that the 26-year-old defender is still not happy with Southgate for failing to select him for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Also, reports claimed that Ben White has vowed not to play for England until Southgate is no longer in charge of the team.

“I spoke to him post-Qatar and there was reticence from his side. I don’t know why that is,” Southgate told reporters on Thursday, March 14.

“There is no issue between us at all and there’s also no issue with Steve, which has been mentioned in articles and I don’t like that.

“I have to accept things are false about me, but I’m not prepared for that to happen to my coaching team. That is not the reason Ben is not with us.”

Ben White has made just four appearances since he made his international debut for England on June 2, 2021. He didn’t kick a ball for the Three Lions of England throughout 2023.

Southgate said: “[White] would be in this squad but he’s not available to us and I have to focus on who can help us.

“Clearly on form. I can’t sit here and say he doesn’t deserve to be in.

“It is a great shame. He is a player we took to the Euros, a player we took to the World Cup and I spoke to him post-Qatar because I wanted to pick him.

“People have given me a lot of stick for not picking players in the past who haven’t made themselves available. But I’ve always been able to keep them out of that story.

“On this occasion, because of the circumstances around the number of injuries and his decision to come off the long list I’ve got to be more transparent.”

Below is England’s full squad for their friendly games against Brazil at 8 p.m. on March 23 and against Belgium at 8:45 p.m. on March 26:

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Man City).

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Ajax), James Maddison (Tottenham), Declan Rice (Arsenal).

Forwards: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Man City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Marcus Rashford (Man United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

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