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Arsenal’s Ben White pulls out of England squad due to personal reasons

Arsenal’s Ben White pulls out of England squad due to personal reasons

The FA have announced that Arsenal defender Ben White has withdrawn from England‘s World Cup 2022 squad due to personal reasons.

The versatile 25-year-old did not play any minutes in the Three Lions’ Group B games, having been an unused substitute against the USA and Iran.

White was then absent from Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Wales due to illness, with that success sealing a last-16 place for Gareth Southgate‘s side as group winners.

White would have expected to push for minutes in the knockout stages, with England continuing their quest for glory against Senegal in Sunday’s last 16 clash.

However, a statement from England has revealed that the former Brighton & Hove Albion man has left the Three Lions’ training camp and is heading back home for private reasons.

Ben White in action for Arsenal on October 20, 2022© Reuters

England also confirmed that White was unlikely to return to Qatar for the remainder of the World Cup, saying: “Ben White has left England’s training base in Al Wakrah and returned home for personal reasons.

“The Arsenal defender is not expected to return to the squad for the remainder of the tournament. We ask that the player’s privacy is respected at this moment in time.”

White had found it difficult to earn opportunities in the England setup prior to the World Cup, earning just four cap since making his debut against Austria in a friendly in June 2021.

The versatile defender was called up to the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 squad but failed to earn any minutes, and he was not called up to England’s Nations League games in June or September.

However, White made himself worthy of selection after starring in the first half of the 2022-23 season for Arsenal, becoming Mikel Arteta‘s first-choice right-back with a string of consistent performances.

Arsenal's Ben White celebrates after the final whistle on August 5, 2022© Reuters

The Englishman has two assists from 14 Premier League starts in the 2022-23 campaign, as Arsenal sit five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table.

Despite White’s withdrawal, Southgate is still blessed with numerous right-back options for the rest of the World Cup, with Kyle Walker starting against Wales on Tuesday after coming back from groin surgery.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier can also cover on that side of the field, while John Stones has filled in at right-back in recent times for Manchester City.

A brace from Marcus Rashford alongside a Phil Foden effort propelled England to a dominant win over Wales earlier this week, as the Three Lions made the last 16 at the expense of the Dragons, who were eliminated with just one point to their name.

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