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Gareth Southgate would get 'killed' by England fans if he picked Ben White for the World Cup

Ryan Sidle

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Gareth Southgate would get 'killed' by England fans if he picked Ben White for the World Cup

Gary Neville thinks that Gareth Southgate would be 'killed' if he decided to play Ben White for England at the World Cup, following the defender's impressive form for Arsenal.

Southgate has many issues to work out ahead of the World Cup next month and even before he names his preliminary squad later this month.

The biggest problems facing the England boss are in defence, especially when it comes with what to do with Harry Maguire and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Maguire is completely out of form for both Manchester United and England, and gave away a penalty in the recent Nations League draw with Germany.

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Alexander-Arnold's inclusion in the squad to Qatar is also in question, mainly because of the number of right-backs the Three Lions have to pick from - and he's also in poor form for Liverpool.

The 23-year-old has been told to retire from international football if he doesn't get to go to the tournament this winter, with Southgate thinking Kieran Trippier has a more rounded game.

One player who could play at either centre-back or right-back is Arsenal's White, who wasn't even in the squad for England's last two games before the World Cup.

On Monday Night Football, Neville suggested a change to a back four could work for England, with White at right-back shoring things up as a less attacking option but explained why it wouldn't work.

Maguire gave away a penalty for England last time out. Image: Alamy
Maguire gave away a penalty for England last time out. Image: Alamy

"If you went to a back four at the moment and you left Harry Maguire out, it would be Stones and Dier," the former Manchester United captain said.

"And there would be two full-backs who would be flying on like crazy. You might sit Kyle Walker in a little bit. I wouldn’t think for me, that would be the right thing to do to play a back four.

"I think Ben White could come into it now and play tight as a right-back as he’s doing at Arsenal and narrow your back four. But then you lose something in the fact you’re playing Ben White at right-back.

"You’ve got Walker, Reece James, Alexander-Arnold and Trippier to call upon, Gareth would get absolutely killed for that."

White has been in impressive form this season for Arsenal. Image: Alamy
White has been in impressive form this season for Arsenal. Image: Alamy

White has been playing at right-back all season so far for the Gunners, having previously always played at centre-back for the North London side until William Saliba returned from his various loan spells in France.

They are currently top of the Premier League after eight games, having only lost one game so far, and only Everton have conceded fewer goals.

The former Brighton defender made his debut in the pre tournament warm up matches ahead of Euro 2020 but wasn't initially included in the 26-man squad.

Alexander-Arnold's injury, picked up in the game against Austria, meant he did join the squad for the tournament, as England made the final, but he didn't play in any of the games.

White has four caps to his name so far. Image: Alamy
White has four caps to his name so far. Image: Alamy

Neville clearly thinks that England could do a lot worse than picking Alexander-Arnold at right back, despite his recent dip in form for Liverpool.

The former right back was full of praise for the Reds' star on Monday, claiming that he could one day be the best right-back 'the world has produced.'

He did outline four things the full-back could improve on in order to get to that level in the wake of Jurgen Klopp's side conceding three goals in a 3-3 draw with Brighton at the weekend.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Sky Sports

Topics: Ben White, Arsenal, England, Harry Maguire, Gary Neville, Football World Cup, Gareth Southgate

Ryan Sidle
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