Ben White has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, it can be revealed.
Arsenal defender White (25) has won four caps for his national team.
He was named in England’s Euro 2020 squad as a replacement for Trent Alexander-Arnold after the Liverpool right-back picked up an injury, but he did not feature during the tournament.
White has made 18 appearances in all competitions for Premier League leaders Arsenal and has long established himself as one of Mikel Arteta’s most important players following his £50million move from Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer of 2021.
Arteta has deployed White at right-back this season, having previously played him at centre-back, with his versatility in the position clearly appealing to Southgate.
White started his career on the south coast and was released by Southampton’s academy early in his career, only to be picked up by Brighton and moved up on loan to Leeds United in 2019-2020.
He then returned to Brighton and became a key player for the Premier League side, earning both his place in England’s Euro 2020 squad and a place in Southgate’s England squad at Euro 2020.
England’s 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which hosts the tournament is controversial for the reasons outlined in this article, will be officially announced by the Football Association later on Thursday.
FIFA’s deadline for final confirmation of World Cup squads is on Monday – so Southgate will be watching the Premier League this weekend praying his 26 players come out unscathed.
He will already be concerned after Tottenham manager Antonio Conte said England captain Harry Kane was “very, very tired” after the start of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Kane, who was taken off before the hour mark, has started all 21 of Tottenham’s games this season in all competitions. He also played the full 90 minutes in both of England’s Nations League games in September.
England will meanwhile be without Chelsea duo Ben Chilwell and Rhys James.
Chilwell injured his knee playing in the Champions League, while a “devastated” James confirmed his absence earlier this week after speaking with Southgate.
England begin their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21, before facing the USA on November 25 and Wales in their final Group B game on November 29.
Southgate will be hoping to end England’s long wait for silverware after near misses at the World Cup in Russia and last summer’s European Championship final, which they lost to Italy.
Follow live updates on England’s World Cup squad announcement here
(Photo: Getty Images)