Arsenal defender Ben White has linked up with his teammates in Dubai after leaving England’s World Cup camp early.
The 25-year-old withdrew from the Three Lions squad after an alleged bust-up with assistant boss Steve Holland having failed to play a minute in Qatar, though the official line was that White withdrew from the squad for personal reasons.
There were also murmurings that White had struggled to integrate himself into England’s squad and was not clued up on all of his personal statistics – something that England have prided themselves on knowing during Southgate’s tenure.
Rather than jetting straight back to the UK, White has been pictured in Dubai with Arsenal teammates Matt Turner and Thomas Partey, who were also at the World Cup with the United States and Ghana respectively.
The trio are enjoying some warm weather training ahead of Arsenal’s return to Premier League action on Boxing Day – the surprise leaders welcome David Moyes’ struggling West Ham to the Emirates Stadium in the day’s late game.
White has been in terrific form for Arsenal this season, starring in an unfamiliar right-back role following William Saliba’s emergence in central defence. His performances were enough to convince Southgate to take him to the World Cup after Reece James was ruled out through injury, though he was seen as fourth choice for the role behind Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
A £50m signing from Brighton, White was initially signed by Mikel Arteta to become the cornerstone of Arsenal’s defence, but his versatility has seen him usurp Takehiro Tomiyasu in the right-back pecking order despite the latter’s return to fitness.
Indeed, the Japanese star, who was crestfallen by his country’s World Cup exit to Croatia in the round of 16, has been shifted over to the left side to compete with Kieran Tierney for a starting berth.
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