Gareth Southgate has dropped hint over Ben White’s England future ahead of Euro 2024 squad decision

England manager Gareth Southgate has already dropped a hint over Ben White’s future ahead of finalising his provisional squad for Euro 2024.
Southgate is expected to name a 30-man squad for friendlies against Iceland and Bosnia and Herzegovina in June, with that number reduced to 26 players in time for Euro 2024.
The biggest news prior to the announcement is that Jordan Henderson has not been selected, with his former Liverpool team-mate Curtis Jones set to replace him.
The Daily Mail report that Crystal Palace quartet Marc Guehi, Dean Henderson, Eberechi Eze and Adam Wharton will all be selected, with Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford also set to be involved.
One player who is not included at all in the provisional lineup is White, who has not been selected in an England squad since the 2022 World Cup.
He left that tournament early, and Southgate stated that the Arsenal defender had requested not to be selected for the March friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.
The Telegraph reported that there was an exchange between White and England assistant coach Steve Holland in Qatar, which took place alongside other members of the squad.
White was said to be unhappy by a remark allegedly made by Holland about how he was ‘not sufficiently interested in football’.
And while there was said to be no row between the pair, it is claimed that the issue surrounded ‘a question of the respect shown to the player’. Southgate, the report adds, believed there was no longer an issue prior to White leaving the squad in Qatar.
Southgate has publicly commented on the issue only once since announcing that White was unavailable for selection, after the subject was was broached by fellow Arsenal star Declan Rice during the last international break.
The England boss told reporters: “As I’ve said to you, the door is open for us.
“That’s clearly difficult ahead of the Euros, where you’ve got players that have played all the way through, but we have no idea of knowing who’s going to be available in that area of the pitch.
“I respected the situation as Arsenal have contacted us. So, in the end, I know the conversation I had with him last March.
I felt I should back away from it a little bit. But I’ve always left the door open. I was keen to bring in this camp [for Brazil and Belgium friendlies].”
England manager Gareth Southgate says he may not use all of his available 26 squad slots for Euro 2024.
Sides who qualified for Euro 2024 were initially only allowed to name 23 players, as per UEFA regulations.
But the decision was made last month to increase the quota to 26 players, with several managers having been critical of plans to reduce the squad sizes.
The 26-player squads were in use for tournaments during the Covid-19 pandemic, with UEFA wanting to return to previous numbers for Euro 2024.
But speaking to BBC Sport, Southgate has revealed that he may not take 26 players with him to Germany – even though he can.
Discussing the increased squad size and his existing injury issues, he explained: “We’ve had 26 for the last two [tournaments].
There are positives to that, in that in both of those tournaments we had players that weren’t fit at the beginning, that we were then able to take a chance on.
“Probably three or four of the defenders that you’d expect to be in the final squad haven’t appeared for a few weeks, or even a few months. So we have got some challenges in terms of availability at the moment.
“Maybe the additional squad will help us with that. We don’t have to take 26, and there’s no point in taking more players than we need.
Southgate’s comments appear to suggest that should his first choice squad members be available, the England boss may decide to take fewer players than the 26 allotted to him for Euro 2024.
One team that is set to name 26 players are hosts Germany, who are unveiling their squad members individually in order to avoid leaks, according to Kicker.
Centre-backs Nico Schlotterbeck and Jonathan Tah, of Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, have already been confirmed for the squad, with all players set to be unveiled by Thursday.

Related Articles