Gareth Southgate reacts to Ben White displays for England
Gareth Southgate has suggested in his post-match press conference that he was very pleased with Ben White after the Arsenal star’s two displays for England during the international break.
It has certainly been a productive break for the Gunners man. He has been outstanding for much of the campaign in Mikel Arteta’s side. So it was no surprise to see him get an opportunity for the Three Lions.
He has not had too much of a chance at centre-back. But in many ways, that may ultimately prove to be particularly beneficial as White looks to stake a claim for the World Cup squad.
He has predominantly played at right-back despite starting in the middle against Switzerland. And after his display against Ivory Coast on Tuesday, Southgate suggested that he was pleased with what he saw from the 24-year-old.
“Ben White again tonight, I thought very composed, he played a couple of lovely passes in a position he has played but is not his first choice. Across the two games he did really well,” he said in his press conference.
Ben White continues to prove a revelation for Arsenal and England this season
It is easy to forget that many Arsenal fans could not believe that their club wanted to spend so much on White in the summer. That was despite him impressing for the likes of Leeds and Brighton. He was also promoted to the Euro 2020 squad after Trent Alexander-Arnold withdrew.
His partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes has been ‘fantastic‘ for Arsenal. And it appears that it could be a pairing that the Gunners rely on for years to come.
There is still some time to go before the World Cup. But White has certainly put himself in contention.
The fact that he has looked relatively comfortable at right-back this time around will help. England are outrageously strong in that position.
But having another player who can cover two roles, as well as defensive midfield, could be something Southgate cannot ignore when selecting his squad for Qatar.