The Three Lions boss on Thursday confirmed his group for the upcoming Nations League double-header against Italy and Germany, naming six centre-backs but White was not among them.
Back in 2017, just months after his appointment, Southgate said: "I never pick on reputation - form has to come into it. You have to look at the opposition and the type of game you're expecting and select the players best suited to that."
The likes of Tomori, Guehi, Stones and Dier - returning after 18 months in exile - have all impressed this season, but the inclusion of England captain Maguire has raised eyebrows.
"How can Maguire be in the squad and Ben White not be? I need someone to tell me a reasonable argument," former striker Darren Bent asked on talkSPORT.
"By trade, Ben White is a centre-half. Maguire's got no form and he's not playing."
White has played all six of Arsenal's Premier League games this season, as the Gunners set the pace at the top of the Premier League, while Maguire lost his place after two games and faces a fight to win it back.
Mikel Arteta, though, is currently using White at right-back due to the form of central pair Gabriel and William Saliba.