Gareth Southgate clarifies Ben White absence from England Euro 2024 squad

Gareth Southgate has revealed that he did not contact Ben White over a potential call-up to England’s Euro 2024 squad.

The Arsenal defender has not featured for the Three Lions since leaving the 2022 World Cup camp early due to “personal reasons”, which have been subject to much speculation.

England boss Southgate said earlier this year that Gunners director Edu had informed him that White did not want to play for his country at this time.

And the decision continues to stand, as confirmed by Southgate.

“As far as I’m aware, he’s not available to us,” he told reporters at Tuesday’s squad announcement.

It has been reported that White was upset by a comment from Southgate’s assistant, Steve Holland, over his well-known indifference to football outside of his job during the World Cup campaign in Qatar. In addition, the 26-year-old was said to be disillusioned with being part of the squad without regular playing time.

Given his sterling form for Arsenal, many have speculated that White, who has four caps, could be a contender to be England’s starting right-back in Germany while also offering support in central defence.

Southgate is having to plan around several injury issues for the Euros, including to Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw who he described as a “longshot” to make the tournament on Tuesday.

Liverpool youngster Jarell Quansah and Everton’s Jarred Branthwaite were among those called up for the provisional 33-player squad, alongside right-back options Ezri Konsa, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier.

Chelsea defender Reece James was left out having only just recovered from injury, along with Ben Chilwell and Levi Colwill.