Southgate promotes White to replace Alexander-Arnold
Commercial content | 18+
England boss Gareth Southgate has opted to bring in Ben White to his 23-man squad for Euro 2020 to replace the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool full-back Alexander-Arnold suffered a thigh injury in the friendly win over Austria on Wednesday and was ruled out of the tournament following an assessment.
Southgate was deliberating who to promote from his stand-by list and, after Brighton defender White started the second friendly victory over Romania on Sunday, he has decided on the 23-year-old ahead of the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Jesse Lingard and Ollie Watkins.
Reacting to the news, White wrote on Twitter: “Beyond proud and honoured! I’ll give it my everything.”
White only made his Three Lions debut in the Austria friendly but has done enough to convince Southgate and he will provide much-needed cover at the back.
Southgate is sweating on Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire’s fitness as he continues to recover from an ankle injury and he’s unlikely to be fit for England’s opening Group D game against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday with John Stones, Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings the other centre-back options in the squad.
Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson made a welcome return from injury as a second-half sub against Romania after almost four months out and the Liverpool midfielder was pleased to get some valuable game-time under his belt.
He told BBC Sport: “(I’m) feeling very good, to get back onto the pitch was pleasing for me. I came through 45 minutes after a while out so happy with that and felt pretty good as well during the game.
“We have another week’s training until the first game so hopefully I can recover well.”
Southgate has suggested he is close to finalising his starting line-up for the Croatia game and can turn to his Manchester City and Chelsea contingent after opting against using them in the two warm-up games to give them extra rest following the Champions League final last weekend.
City quartet Kyle Walker, John Stones, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling will all come into contention, as will Chelsea trio Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Mason Mount.
Aston Villa star Jack Grealish impressed in both friendlies and will hope to have done enough to start but there is stiff competition in the squad with Jude Bellingham, Mount, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips all among Southgate’s midfield options.
Up front, captain Harry Kane appears to be a certain starter with Jadon Sancho, Foden, Marcus Rashford, Sterling and Bukayo Saka all in the mix to support the Tottenham striker.
Following the Croatia game, England host Scotland at Wembley on June 18 before they round off their group games against the Czech Republic, also at Wembley, on June 22.