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Ben White called up to England squad

Brighton defender Ben White has been called up to the 26-man England squad this summer, replacing the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.

In England’s first warm-up game against Austria, Alexander-Arnold pulled up following a clearance. It would later be revealed the Liverpool defender had torn his thigh, and will be side-lined for 4-6 weeks.

The Brighton defender, who was called up to England’s 33-man provisional squad, will become the final member of England’s 26-man team for this summer’s Euro’s.

The 23-year-old, made his England debut in the Three Lions fixture against Austria on Wednesday. A 20 minute cameo, replacing Jack Grealish earning him his first cap.

White would then pick up his first start in the second friendly against Romania on Sunday.

Sky Sports reported that he was told at 9:30pm on Sunday, as he returned home to Brighton.

Sky claim that White was called personally by Gareth Southgate, who told him he was to be promoted to the side.

Ben White.
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND – JUNE 06: England player Ben White in action during the international friendly match between England and Romania at Riverside Stadium on June 06, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Stu Forster – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

White featured 36 times for Brighton in the Premier League this season and was instrumental in the side avoiding relegation.

The defender edges out names such as Jesse Lingard, James Ward-Prowse, Ben Godfrey and Ollie Watkins – who were all considered for the final spot in the Euro’s squad.

Why White?

For many, White seems to be a bizarre choice by Southgate.

It was thought that Lingard and Ward-Prowse were the leading contenders for a recall.

Lingard has been excellent since a January loan move to West Ham. Whereas Southampton captain Ward-Prowse had been in excellent form and featured in previous squads.

However, White may be the wisest choice.

Ben White.
Ben White replaces Jack Grealish and comes on for his England debut against Austria. (Photo by Alex Pantling – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

With centre-back Harry Maguire’s fitness in question, it is smart from Southgate to recall a defender.

If Maguire isn’t fit for the start of the tournament, which isn’t guaranteed, then another centre-back can help to ease concerns.

This means that Everton defender Ben Godfrey could also have been an option. However, White offers a key versatility to the squad.

His additional doubts surrounding Jordan Henderson’s fitness, there were worries over the depth of the midfield – hence the strong calls for James Ward-Prowse to be recalled.

However, White has demonstrated that he can play as a holding midfielder, as he did against Austria – which gave him an advantage and earned him a recall.

Featured image credit: MyKhel Football

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